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Full text of "Sketches of Pitt County, a brief history of the county, 1704-1910; illustrations and maps"

ITf- 

1 7ITT CO.) 



THE NEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 



TILPCN FOUNDATION! 




HENRY T. KING. 



■) 



Sketches of 



Pitt County 



A Brief History of the County 



1704—1910 



ILLUSTRATIONS AND MAPS 



By HENRY T. KING 



RALEIGH 

Edwards & Broughton Printing Company 
Printers and Binders. 
1911 



cV^ 



THE NEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 

706792 

A8T0R, LtNOX ANO 
TILOfeM FOUNDATION* 



TO THE YOUTH OF PITT COUNTY, 

DESCENDANTS OF A NOBLE ANCESTRY, WHO, 

EVER FAITHFUL TO EVERY DUTY, LEFT THEM EXAMPLES 

WORTHY OF IMITATION AND PRACTICE, 

' THIS LITTLE VOLUME IS 

DEDICATED 



/^ 



CONTENTS. , 7 

CHAPTER SIXTEEN. 

Guilford Court-house — Pitt Militia — Joel Truss — Old British Road — 
British Pass Through Pitt — Cattle and Provisions Captured — 
Skirmishes — Men and Guns at Martinborough — Troubles South 
of Pitt — Call for Troops — Prisoners in Jail — Buck's Barn — 
Leniency 86 

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN. 

Peace and Independence — Part of Pitt Given to Beaufort — John 
Simpson — Negro Burned for Murder — Acts of the Assembly — 
Armstrong and Salter, State Officers — Justices Resign — Part of 
Craven Given to Pitt — Armstrong, Brigadier-General — Pitt 
Academy — Greenville — William Blount — Greenville Ferry — 
Simpson Paid 90 

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN. 

Constitution Rejected — Motions and Vote Thereon — Location of Cap- 
ital — Constitution Adopted — Amendments Recommended — The 
University — Foreign State — New Court-house — John Simpson 
Dead — Bounties for Manufactures — Pitt Iron Mines — Pitt in the 
Revolution — Governor Caswell's Opinion 95 

CHAPTER NINETEEN. 

Tory Pardons — Vote on the Capital Bill — William Blount — First 
Census — Washington's Tour — Impressions in Pitt — Old People — 
James Armstrong Dead — Second Census — Peace and Progress — 
Schools and Houses — Mail Facilities — Modes of Conveyance — 
Good Old Times 99 

CHAPTER TWENTY. 

Third Census — Yankee Hall — Second War with England — Two Pitt 
Companies at Beacon Island — Their Pay-roll — Retreat and 
Amusing Incident — Fourth Census — Occupations — Bridge at 
Greenville — Greenville Academies — Fifth Census — John Joyner, 104 

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE. 

Steamboats — Constitutional Convention of 1835 — Delegates — Impor- 
tant Votes — Baptist State Convention — Greenville Gazette — 
Presidential Election — Loss in Population — Flat Boats — Dr. 
Williams Dead— Harris and Yellowly Duel — Harris Killed — 
Academy Incorporated 109 

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO. 

Plank Road — Seventh Census — Plank Road Stockholders Organized 
^Cold Spring — Court-house Burned — Great Loss — Common 
Schools and Progress — County Superintendent — Apportionment 
— Journal of Education — Very Old Man 113 



8 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE. 

Military Spirit — Good Old Muster Days — Eighth Census — Elections 
— Fort Sumter — President Calls for Volunteers — Governor Ellis 
Calls for Volunteers for State's Defense — Secession Convention 
—Pitt's Members— G. B. Singeltary Raises First Company — 
Tar River Boys — Marlboro Guards — Disbursing and Safety 
Committee — War Funds — Third Regiment 118 

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR. 

Major Grimes— Wyatt Killed— Disposition of Pitt Companies and 
Men— Hatteras Captured — Pitt County Boys Prisoners— Sur- 
geon Brown and Madison — Yellowly's Call for Volunteers — 
Officers of Twenty-seventh Regiment — Chicamacomico — Promo- 
tions ■ 122 

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE. 

Enlistments — Military Board — Capture of Roanoke Island — Com- 
panies and Officers — Forty-fourth Regiment — Seventeenth — 
Grimes, Lieutenant-Colonel— Fifty-fifth— Tranter's Creek Skir- 
mish — Fight a Few Days Later— Colonel Singeltary Killed — 
Movements — Seventy-fifth 1"26 

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX. 

Vance Elected Governor— State Census— Yellowly for Congress— 
Fifty-fifth at Kinston— General Clingraan's Complaint— Mary- 
land Campaign— Captain Joyner Killed— Heavy Losses— Singel- 
tary's Reply — Movement of Troops — Haddock's Cross-roads — 
Federals Capture Greenville— Other Events 130 

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN. 

Emancipation 'Proclamation— Movements of Troops— Colonel Griffin 
in Pitt — His Picket Lines— Tithe Gatherers— Colonel Ham- • 
mond — His Predicament — Conversation — Escape — Chancellors- 
ville — Jackson Killed — In Virginia 134 

CHAPTER TWBNTY-EIGHT. 

Gettysburg— Farthest At— Severe Losses— Potter's Raid— At Green- 
ville— Videttes Fired Upon — Return from Tarboro— Skirmish at 
Otter's Creek Bridge — Lieutenant Sharpe — Escape of Raiders — 
Their Route — At Scuffleton— Demoralization of Followers 138 

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE. 

The Eighth— Major Yellowly— Forty-fourth and Sixty-sixth — Bris- 
toe Station— Losses— Cas Laughinghouse — Duel That Never Oc- 
curred — War Prices— Capture at* Haddock's Cross-roads— Red 
Banks AfTair— Other Events 142 



CONTENTS. y 

CHAPTER THIRTY. 

County Matters — Sixty-seventh — Movements of Other Regiments — 
Plymouth Captured — Great Victory — Heavy Losses — Taxes — 
The Wilderness — Remarkable Fighting — Spottsylvania— General 
Daniel Wounded and Grimes in Command — Drewry's Bluflf — 
Captains Jarvis and Hines Wounded — Thomas King — Juniors — 
Cold Harbor — Captain Anderson Killed 145 

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE. 

Grimes, Brigadier-General — Losses Around Petersburg — A Great 
Capture by Fleming, James, Cherry and Coggins — Regiment of 
Juniors — Davis Farm — Reams Station — Hard Times in Rich- 
mond — Short Rations — Winchester — Grimes in Command of 
Division— Other Fighting — Peace Party — Pitt Officers of Jun- 
iors — Fort Fisher 1-50 

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO. 

Deeds of Daring by Harris and Bland — Losses and Promotions — 
Around Petersburg — Fall of Fort Fisher — Wise's Fork — South- 
west Creek — Bentonsville — Juniors — Struggling Against Odds. . 1.54 

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE. 

Lee's Lines Broken at Petersburg— Retreat— Incidents— Johnston 
and Sherman — Appomattox — Last Charge — Surrender — Johns- 
ton Surrenders to Sherman — Pitt's Parole at Appomattox — 
Men Furnished — Officers 1-57 

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR. 

"Wheelers" — Dupree Kills Federal— Amnesty— Holden Provisional 
Governor — Delegates to Convention — Acts — Worth Elected Gov- 
ernor — School Matters— War-time School Books — Curious Les- 
sons ■ 

CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE. 



161 



War-time School Books— Geographical Reader for Dixie Children- 
Description of the Siate— Its People— Patriotic— South Caro- 
lina — Review — Questions and Answers — Confederate Prowess 
Taught 165 

CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX. 

Carpetbaggers— Legislature of 1866— Pensions— Thirteenth Amend- 
ment — Reconstruction — Military Government — Cotton Planter 
— Education— Willis Briley Murdered — Two of the Murderers 
Hanged — Negro Militia — Laflin and Rich — Misguided Mission- 
aries 16^ 



10 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN. 

Riddick Carney — Attempt to Capture — Federal Lieutenant Killed — 
Second Attempt to Capture — Major Lyman and Negro Militia — 
Two Negroes Killed — Both Carneys Die — Horrible Tragedy — 
Ku Klux — Negro Officers — Specimens 174 

CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT. 
Ninth Census — Things Improving — Convention of 1875 — Delegates — • 
Vance and Jarvis Elected — Jarvis Becomes Governor — News- 
papers — Jarvis Elected Governor — Latham Elected to Congress 
— General Grimes Assassinated — A Lynching 179 

CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE. 

Tenth Census — County Towns — Education — Evolutions of the Old 
Male Academy — Prominent Teachers — Latham Defeated — Yel- 
lowly Dead — Jarvis Minister to Brazil — Fine Babies — Earth- 
quake — Latham Elected — Railroad 183 

CHAPTER FORTY. 
Eleventh Census — Growth in Country and Towns — More Towns — 
Education — County Superintendents — Tobacco — Market Opened 
— Farmer Governor — Daily Reflector — King's Weekly — Jarvis 
Appointed U. S. Senator — Harry Skinner Elected to Congress — 
Great Fire — Telephones — Skinner Re-elected — Latham Dead — 
Records for Postmasters - 188 

CHAPTER FORTY-ONE. 
Spanish-American War — Greenville Guards — Officers — Mustered in 
at Raleigh — Go to Tybee — Storm — Mustered Out— Skinner De- 
feated — Greenville Fair — Second Great Fire — Tingle Succeeded 
by Ragsdale — Bryan Grimes Elected Secretary of State — Rail- 
road — Telephone Matters — Amendment — Twelfth Census — 
Towns — Dr. OHagan Dead 193 

CHAPTER FORTY-TWO. 
First Four-weeks Teachers' Institute in State — Rural Free Delivery 
— Harry Skinner Appointed United States District Attorney — 
Special Taxes for Schools — Teachers Organize — County Board 
of Education — Full-time Superintendent -7- Houses — Medals — 
Grimes Re-elected — Skinner Re-appointed — Railroads — Public 
Building — Steel Bridges— Grimes Elected Third Time — Train- 
ing School— Pitt Dry 198 

CHAPTER FORTY-THREE. 

Laughinghouse Superintendent of Penitentiary — Post-office Site — 
Training School Opened — Its History — Senator Fleming Dead — 

Big Fire — CoUrt-house Burned Records Saved — Greenville 

Post-office Advanced to Second Class 203 

ADDENDA 206 



CONTENTS. 11 

CONCLUSION 207 

MAPS. 

Map of Indian Locations 18 

Map of Early Settlements along Tar Kiver 27 

Map of Pitt County in 1760 41 

Map of Pitt County in 1787 92 

Map of Pitt County, showing Townships 201 



INTRODUCTION. 



These Sketches are the result of years of inquiry, research 
and compilation. They are intended to give such traditions 
and facts as could be had from reliable sources and records. 
An earnest endeavor has been made to get the truth and put 
it in form to place before the public, that the heritage of a 
glorious past, and the achievements of the present, may be the 
pride of posterity. 

Efforts have been made to be as correct as possible, but with 
matter, written and unwritten, traditions and reminiscences, 
errors are unavoidable. From diversity of statement and 
difference of opinion, accuracy has been sought Criticism 
is legitimate, but it should not minimize the true. The criti- 
cism that may eliminate errors in the future will be duly 
appreciated. 

Acknowledgments are made to the late Dr. W. M. B. 
Brown, the late Dr. C. J. O'Hagan, Hon. A. L. Blow, Hon. 
W. R. Williams, Hon. J. Bryan Grimes, and to many others, 
who have at various times rendered valuable aid in the collec- 
tion and preservation of historical matter ; and to them is due 
much credit for the production of these Sketches. 

These l^ketches are not intended as a biography, genealogy 
or advertisement, but the demand for sketches of many of 
Pitt's prominent men, both of the past and the present, has 
made necessary the addition of a second part, where many 
such sketches may be found. And from a financial stand- 
point, it has been found well to allow advertisements or a 
directory of some of the County and Towns. But all are parts, 
separate and distinct, and not confusing. 



14 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

With a consciousness that much matter of historical value 
is here preserved, that should be a source of patriotic pride 
to the people of the County, and simply asking credit for 
whatever merit may be found in them, these Sketches of Pitt 
County are respectfully submitted. 

Greenville, N. C, Henry T. King. 

January, 1910. 



ii 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 16 



To cite authorities for much of the matter herein recorded 
would demand more space than can be allotted in a work like 
this. It would be difficult to cite authorities where a fact 
has been the result of a variety of fragmentary evidence. 
Such has often been the case. They will be furnished when 
necessary. 

The following works have been consulted : 

North Carolina Works : 

Colonial and State Eecords, Regimental Histories, Foote's Sketches, 
Moore, Wheeler, Hawks, Williamson, Jones's Defense, Lawson, 
Wiley, Grimes's Notes, Sketches of Eastern Carolina, Handbooks of 
Department of Agriculture, Moore's Roster, Roster of North Caro- 
lina Troops in Spanish-American War, Acts of Legislature, North 
Carolina Booklet, Report of Fraud Commission, Publications of 
Historical Society, Letters of General Grimes, Life of Vance, etc. 

Histories of United States: 

Stephens, Willard, Lee, Grimshaw, and others. 

Miscellaneous : 

County Records, Congressional Directory, United States Government 
Reports of the Civil War (Land and Naval), Dictionary of Ameri- 
can History, Census Reports, Files of Newspapers, Almanacs, and 
numerous Personal and Private Letters and Papers of the author. 



CHAPTEK ONE. 



Early Mention of the Tar and Pamlico River Coun- 
try — Lawson in Pitt — The Tuscarora Indians — In- 
dian Localities — King Blount. 

As early as 1681 mention is found of the Pamlico River. 
The commission of Captain Henry Wilkinson, as Governor 
of Albemarle, issued that year, gave him jurisdiction over 
"that part of the province of Carolina, that lyes five miles 
south of the river Pemplico, and from thence to Virginia." 
Settlers were slow to cross the Albemarle Sound, and as the 
country of the Pamlico was possessed of so few good harbors, 
in 1694 Governor Archdale was instructed to offer moderate 
quit rents and taxes to settlers there. These inducements 
must have had some effect, for in 1696 the country had enough 
inhabitants to be erected into the county of Bath. 

How far up Tar River any settlement had been made is 
unknown. The whole river was then known as the Pamlico, 
and what is now Pitt County was then a part of the Pamlico 
country. Traders had no doubt ascended to the head of 
navigation and a stray squatter m^y have been settled on its 
banks. Pirates were plentiful in Carolina waters and its 
rivers and harbors often furnished them safety, after a return 
from cruising on the high seas. 

In 1700, John Lawson, an English surveyor, arrived at 
Charleston, South Carolina, and began a tour of survey and 
exploration. About 1704 he reached what is now Pitt 
County. He came from the central part of the province and 
entered Pitt County from Greene. He must have entered 
somewhere in the Marlboro section, and then have followed 
, Im Indian trail, on and across Contentnea Creek, a little 
Delow Tyson's bridges, on the Forbes and Moye lands, to the 

andolph landing on Tar River. There an Indian, who had 
idden a canoe, took them all across. Lawson then went 
2 



18 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



down the river, by laud, about six miles, where he spent the 
night under a very large spreading oak. During the night 
there was a very heavy snow storm^ with thunder and light- 
nino'. He states that he was then twelve miles from the 
Ene;lish settlements, and that about half way he crossed a 




INDIAN LOCATION. 

From an old map by Eman Bowcn, now in oflBce of the Secretary of State. 

From pen sketch by H. T. K., 1909. 

very deep creek,* "and came safe to Mr. Richard Smith's, 
of Pampticough." 

The origin of the name of Tar River is undoubtedly un^ 
known. Many writers are inclined to ''Taw" as the original! 



•Tranter's Oeek. 




INDIAN VILLAGE. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 21 

Hawks thought its Indiau name "Torpoeo." It was often 
spelled "Tail." How it became "Tar" is equally unknown. 
Many claim it a corruption of "Taw" or 'Tau." Hawks 
says it is a corruption of the first syllabi^ of Torpoeo and 
should be written and spelled "Tor." That its meaning was 
health is doubtful. At what time it became known as Tar is 
too, unknown. 

At this time the Tuscaroras were the most numerous In- 
dians in Eastern Carolina. Their principal towns were on 
the Big Contentnea, and Pitt County was, in part, somewhat 
their frontier. Those frontier Indians lived on such terms 
Avith the whites that in the bloody Tuscarora War of 1711, 
they remained friendly and gave some aid to the whites. 
But the whites felt the fury of the enraged Indians and near 
300 were massacred in a most cruel and brutal manner. 
It is tradition that the house of John Porter, at the head of 
Chocowinitv Bay, Avas the first attacked. In 1712, Tom 
Blunt, a half breed and a minor chief and five other subor- 
dinate chiefs, who had taken little part in the war, made a 
treaty with Governor Pollock, by which they gave up all 
right to hunt below Bear Creek and made war with the 
English against the other hostile Indians, • 

About two miles above Bear Creek, on the General Grimes 
farm, was an Indian fort, which was known as Indian Eort 
Branch. About the fort was a field of about ten acres, cleared 
by the Indians. This ten acres is now a part of a seventy-fivc- 
acre field and is still in cultivation. Hcohuerunt, on Tar 
River, was one of Blunt's chief towois. Uneray was his upper 
4own. The location of King Blunt's Town is very uncertain. 
On an early map of Indian locations, Ocohuerunt is shown on 
the west side of Tar River,- apparently several miles above 
Greenville. It is said that there was an Indian town about 
where Old Sparta now is and that Town Creek got its name 
from this. On the same old map is shown "Ooneroy," about 
Avhere Fishing Creek empties into the river, or some above 
that place. This may have been King Blunt's Upper Town, 



^2" SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

"Uneray." King Blimt's Old Town must have been on the 
west side of Tar Kiver, near Penny Hill, perhaps on the Gov- 
ernor Elias Carr plantation or about Old Sparta. Tradition 
gives Mabry's Bridge, across Fishing Creek or a little above, 
as the lacation of an Indian town, probably Urenay. 

Just over in Edgecombe from Penny Hill is a place of 
woods known as ^'Indian Ridge," and there are evidences of 
Indian occupation of the vicinity on both sides of the river. 
In Bethel Township are many evidences of Indian habitation. 
Tradition says there was an Indian camp or town on the old 
James homestead, right near Grindool. A mile or two west 
of Grindool have been found many Indian relics, among them 
pottery in large broken pieces, arrow heads, etc. Indian 
Well Swamp was a favorite watering place of the Indians. 
All along its banks were water holes, dug by the Indians. At 
its head there was in earlier times, a large pond, always 
full of water, and this was known as 'Tndian Well." It 
took its name from this pond and these holes or wells. Just 
above the junction of Clay Root Swamp and Swift Creek 
was an Indian town. Many relics have been found in that 
section, including pottery, arrow heads, tomahawks and vari- 
ous others. There are also indications that on the Arthur 
Forbes place, about three miles above Greenville, there was 
once an Indian town or camp. Many relics have been found 
in Carolina township near the Martin line. In other parts 
of the County, there are evidences of Indian towns or camps 
in the far past. 

After the Tuscarora war, most of those Indians went north 
and joined the Five Nations in N'ew York. Blunt and some 
who had been faithful to the English remained. He was made 
their king, and given lands between the Neuse and Tar rivers 
and above Bear Creek. Thus with peace restored and no In- 
dians to fear, settlements began to multiply and grow up 
along Tar River and other sti-eams. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 23 



CHAPTEK TWO. 



DuvALL Settles at Mount Calvert — King Blount 
Helped — "Black Beard," or Teach — King Blount 
Given Land in Bertie — Other Settlements Along 
Tar River — George Moye and the Indian — Edward 
Salter — Edgecombe — Tar — Precincts Made Coun- 
ties. 

The first man to "patent" land in what is now Pitt County, 
was Lewis Duvall. It was at or very near the present Boyd's 
Ferry and he named it "Mount Calvert and Mount Pleas- 
ant." That was in 1714. That year and the next he pat- 
ented 1,648 acres, in three tracts. Duvall died, and some 
years later his daughter sold the land to Edward Salter, who 
had settled at "Tuscarora," the farm now owned by Mrs. 
F. C. Saunders. 

The Tuscarora war ended in 1715, an4 as one of the aids 
returned King Blunt for his help, he was given one kiindred 
bushels of corn out of the "Publick Store." 

During these years the pirate Teach, or "Black Beard," was 
a frequenter of Carolina waters. A sister, Susie White, lived 
near Boyd's Ferry, on the Grimes farm. Tradition says that 
Teach very often visited her. When he would return from 
a cruise and wanted to take a rest or vacation, he would visit 
his sister. Not far away, in the lowgrounds, stands a cyp- 
ress, once famed as the lookout of Teach. It was known as 
"Table Top," being much taller than any of the surrounding 
trees and had a large flat top, very thick. Into its body were 
driven spikes, or were cut notches, so that it was not difficult 
to climb. From its top could be had a splendid view of the 
river to, and below Washington. There Teach resorted to 
see if the river was clear of a hostile boat, or to watch them, 
and then act according as circumstances demanded. A few 
years ago a storm broke off the top of this cypress, but the 
body is still standing. 




INDIANS FISHINC. 



2G SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

Many and wonderful are the tales told of Teach's buried 
treasure in this section, and almost as many are the attempts 
that have been made to find it. In the lands on both sides 
of the river many a hole has been dug, but there is no record 
of the treasure being found. It has not been so very long ago 
that the gTave of Susie White was disturbed by unknovra. 
midnight treasure seekers. 

The outbreak of the Indians in South Carolina seemed to 
have excited the fears of King Blunt and his Indians that 
they might suffer, and "fearing harm on account of the 
Indian War in 1717," they asked a settlement on the Roanoke 
River and were given 53,000 acres of land in Bertie County, 
to which they soon moved. There they lived many years, 
King Tom Blunt being succeeded by his son James. Later 
they removed to ISTew York, but still held their lands in Ber- 
tie and long received rents for them. 

Settlements continued" to grow along the river. In the 
next few years they had even passed beyond the Pitt limits 
and above was rapidly being settled. Capt. John Spier set- 
tled at Red Banks, and it is said there was a warehouse 
there as early as 1725 for the inspection of tobacco, George 
Moye had settled below Pactolus, and we find that this year 
he made complaint to the Governor's Council, at Edenton, 
that an Indian, belonging to King Blunt's town, had fired 
into his house and wounded two of his children. The Coun- 
cil found that as the Indian was drunk and had no malice, 
and that as the children were likely to do well, he should be 
fined twelve buckskins and twelve doe skins, to be paid 
Robert West, collector, for George Moye. This was in May, 
and the skins were to be paid in August. Then the Indian 
was to be given back his gun. Moye complained at the 
October sitting of the Council that the fine had not been paid, 
and the Indian was ordered to appear before the Council. 

Settlers were now pushing into the interior. In 1727 
Robert Williams bought from the Earl of Granville all the 
lands on the south side of Tar River, between Otter's and 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUKTY. 



27 



Tyson's Creeks, extending several miles inland. Settlements 
had become many higher up the country, and in 1730 the 
people between the Eoanoke River and Contentnea Creek, 
above what is now Pitt County, petitioned to form the pre- 
cinct of Edgecombe. 

Edward Salter was one of the Commissioners of Peace for 
Beaufort Precinct in 1731. The same year he was a mem- 




EARLY SETTLERS ALONG TAR RIVER AND PROBABLE ROUTE OF 

JOHN LAWSON THROUGH THE COUNTY, 1704. 

From pen sketch by H. T. K., 1909. 

ber of the Lower House of the Assembly. - At this session he 
was one of the committee to confer with the Committee of 
the Upper House, on the bill to ascertain and regulate thi; 
payment of quit rents and fees of the officers of the gov- 
ernment. 

In 1732 Governor Burrington established the precinct of 
Edgecombe, it being all that territory west of a lino begin- 
ning at the mouth of Conoconaro Creek on Roanoke River, 
and thence in a straight line down to King Blunt's old 



28 . SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

town on Tar River, then continuing to Neuse River, and 
then to the northeast branch of the Cape Fear River. Later 
in the same year, upon petition of the people, the line was 
changed to run down the Roanoke River to Hoskin's line 
at Rainbow Banks, and then in a straight line to King 
Blunt's old town on Tar River. Justices of the Peace for 
Edgecombe were appointed by the Governor, and it sent rep- 
resentatives to the Assembly, but the Assembly refused to 
concur with the Governor in establishing the precinct. It 
killed the bill for establishing it in February, 1735, though 
that section continued to be known as Edgecombe. 

Edward Salter was again a member of the Assembly for 
Beaufort in the year 1734. 

Tar was now an important article of export, and JSTorth 
Carolina produced more than all the other colonies. Pitt 
County was a forest of the long leaf pines and furnished a 
large share of this product. The inhabitants of Tar River 
numbered twenty families in 1735, and it is said that 1,000 
hogsheads of tobacco were raised in the county at this time. 

In 1738, the old division of three counties, Albemarle, 
Bath and Clarendon, was abolished and each of the precincts 
became counties. Bath County had comprised four pre- 
cincts — Beaufort, Craven, Carteret and Hyde. Beaufort 
comprised about what is now Beaufort and Pitt counties, 
aud the court-house was at Bath. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 29 



CHAPTER THREE. 



Edgecombe County — Tobacco Inspection — Military 
Census — John Hakdy — Hugh McAden, a Peesby- 
terian Preacher — His Trip — Tells of His Meet- 
ings. 

After several years the people of Edgecombe Precinct suc- 
ceeded in getting Edgecombe County established by the 
Assembly of 1741. As its southeastern boundary was the 
northwest boundary of Beaufort, and later became the boun- 
dary of J'itt, it is of interest. It began on Roanoke River 
at Jenkins Henry's upper corner' tree, from there a straight 
line along the lines of Tyrrell and Beaufort counties to the 
mouth of Cheek's Mill Creek on Tar River; then from 
across the river opposite the mouth of the creek, in a straight 
line unto the middle grounds between the Tar and [N'euse 
rivers. At this time it was more settled than Pitt. 

The importance of tobacco as a staple of commerce, and no 
doubt the weakness of many to ship inferior tobacco as good, 
led to the establishment of warehouses for its inspection by 
the authorities. An act of 1743 provided for two ware- 
houses for Beaufort County, one at Bath and one at Red 
Banks. The rivers and creeks were about the only means of 
transportation and communication. Their importance was 
realized so fully that an act of 1745 provided for Commis- 
sioners to "make, mend and repair all roads, bridges, cuts 
and water courses." Eor Beaufort County, on the north 
side of Tar River, above Tranter's Creek to the Edgecombe 
line, Seth Pilkinton, George Moye, Sr., William Mace, John 
Burney and James Barrow, were the Commissioners; on 
the south side, from Chocowinity to the Edgecombe line, they 
were Edward Salter, Thomas Tyson and John Hardee. In 
1752 their duties were enlarged to include clearing rivers 
and creeks for navigation. 







o 
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t-H 

W 

o 
o 

o 

03 

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SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 31 

A military census was taken in 1754 by order of Governor 
Dobbs. Beaufort showed up with one regiment of seven 
companies, with a total of 587 men. Officers recommended 
were, Colonel, John Boyd; Lieutenant-Colonel, William Ca- 

ruthers; Major, Buck; Captain, John Hardee. 

John Alderson was recommended for Captain in place of Cap- 
tain Newsome. The first three, officers were promotions of 
one gTade each. It was shown that there were no Indians in 
the county and also no arms. In the public storehouse was • 
about fifty pounds of powder and one hundred and fifty 
pounds of large shot. 

John Hardee was a member of the Assembly this year. 

The next year the returns of the militia and taxables 
showed: Militia, 680: taxables— whites, 771; blacks, 567; 
total, 1,383 ; a gain of 11 whites and 18 blacks. The popu- 
lation of the colony at this time was, by returns, about 
45,000, but more than 80,000 were claimed. 

Preachers were scarce in the colony this early. Hugh 
McAden, the first Presbyterian missionary in the colony, 
visited this section this year. He was a native of Penn- 
sylvania and licensed by the Pennsylvania Presbytery. He 
came to Western Carolina early in this year. After much 
travel, he went to Wilmington and from there came to this 
section through Dobbs County. Beginning with his Journal 
in that county the following is an extract : 

"The next morning, set out upon my journey for Pam- 
lico, and rode about ten miles, to Major McWain's, where I 
had the opportunity of seeing and conversing with Governor 
Dobbs, who is a very sociable gentleman." 

That night he lodged at Petter's Ferry,* on Contentney, 
about twenty miles, it being too late to go farther. The 
next day he rode about forty miles to Salter's ^erry on Tar 
Eiver. The next day, being Saturday, he came to Thomas 
Little's, where he remained over Sabbath, April 4th. This 
man had not heard a Presbyterian minister in the twenty- 



• This place was later known as Blount's Ferry; then Bell's Ferry, and Is now Grifton. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. o3 

eight years he had lived in Carolina, and took the opportu- 
nity of sending around for "his neighbors, and collected a con- 
gregation ; and kept him till Wednesday to preach again. Of 
this meeting he said, ''I found some few amongst them that 
^ I trust are God's dear children, who seemed much refreshed 
by my coming." 

On the 7th day of April, Wednesday, after the sermon, 
he rode to Mr. Barrow's, about five miles, and the next day, 
about five or six miles, to Eed Banks, "where I preached to 
a pretty large company of various sorts of people, but fewer 
Presbyterians. In the evening, rode ujd the river, ten miles, 
to Mr. Mace's, who is a man of considerable note, and a 
Presbyterian." Here he remained till Sabbath, the 11th, 
and preached in the neighborhood. 

On Tuesday, April 13th, he set out homeward, and rode 
twenty miles, to Mr. Toole's, on Tar Kiver; this man he 
describes as unhappy in his notions of unbelief. On 
Wednesday he rode thirty miles, to Edgecombe Court House. 

The increase in the production of tobacco made several 
more warehouses necessary for its inspection, and in 1758 
warehouses were established at all the principal places in 
the colony. Those in Beaufort were now Bath, William 
Spier's, Travers, Grist's, Tranter's Creek, Chocowinity, 
Congleton's, Eed Banks, Blount's Creek, Mill's, Salter's, 
Durham's Creek, and South Dividing Creek. 

Those in that part now Pitt were Spiers, below Red Banks ; 
Grists, on Bear Creek; Tranter's Creek, near its mouth; Con- 
gleton's, near the mill on Tranter's Creek ; and Salters, now 
Boyd's Ferry. Travers was on Tranter's Creek near its 
mouth. 



34 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



CIIAPTEE FOUR. 



ScMETHiNG About Early Settlers — Entering Land — 
Quit-rents — Building Regulations — Overseers and 

Slaves — Marking Stock — The Established Church — 
Wild Animals — Liquor Question — How People 
Lived — Court-houses. 

*The early settlers took up the richest and nearest lands 
on the rivers and navigable streams. Laws were passed to 
prevent one man from taking too much land on the rivers, 
to the exclusion of others. So he was allowed only 640 acres 
in one tract, and not another in two miles of this, unless by 
special warrant. They lived principally on the streams and 
every family had its boat of some kind for travel and trans- 
portation of produce. To prevent non-residents entering land 
for speculation, it was required that one should reside in the 
province two years before he could sell his lands and rights. 
For entering lands, a quit rent of one shilling for every fifty 
acres was required, and three years were allowed for build- 
ing a habitable house, clearing, fencing and planting at least 
one acre. 

The Council at its March, 1726, meeting passed the fol- 
lowing: "For saving of lands for the future, every house 
shall be fifteen feet long, ten feet Broad, Made tight and habi- 
table of Clapboards or Logs squared, with a roof and chim- 
ney-place and a Door-place. The whole acre cleared well, the 
major part of it broke up and planted with either fruite, 
trees or grain." Those who remember the log cabin, with 
its clay-daubed walls, board roof, door with wooden hinges, 
square hole in the wall for a window, and its stick or dirt 
chimney, have a good idea of the houses of many of the 
early settlers and of the homes of slaves and their overseers. 
The overseers were often bond-servants and the slaves were 

* Much of this chapter is from Grimes' Notes on North Carolina, as is also much of the 
next chapter. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 35 

negroes, miilattoes and Indians. Land, slaves and stock 
comprised the wealth of the planter. He had little use for 
gold and silver, but to purchase slaves. 

Horses were branded and cattle and hogs were marked in 
their ears, as is the custom to-day. For altering or defacing 
brands or mismarking of stock there was a penalty of ten 
pounds proclamation money over and above the value of the 
animal, and "forty lashes on his bare back well laid on ; and 
for the second offense, in addition to the price mentioned, 
standing in the pillory two hours and branding in the left 
hand with a red hot iron with the letter "T" was added. 
Slaves, for the first offense, had both ears cut off and were 
publicly whipped, and for the second offense suffered death. 

The Church of England (Episcopal) was established by 
law, though other forms were allowed. In fact there was 
freedom of worship. An act of 1705 required that to sit in 
the House of Commons, in Carolina, the member should have 
received the Sacrament according to the Rites of the Church 
of England in less than twelve months, or show good reason 
why he had not, or swear that such action was from no dis- 
like for that church, and that he had not been in communion 
with any other church within that time. If he refused to 
thus qualify himself, his seat was declared vacant and an 
election ordered to fill the vacancy. 

Wolves, bears, panthers, wild cats, foxes and many other 
wild animals were very numerous and did much damage to 
crops and domestic animals. Beginning with 1705, many 
acts for destroying these were passed. They were called 
"vennin" in those acts. Bounties were offered for them. 
Squirrels did considerable damage, were very numerous, and 
many acts were passed for destroying them. 

The liquor question also troubled the colony. The law 
was similar to that of to-day, requiring license, and allowing 
a man to sell "cyder or other liquors, the produce of his own 
plantation, at any time hereafter by full and Lawful mea- 
sures (the same not being drunk in the cellar, house or plan- 



30 SKETCHES OF PITT COUXTY. 

tatioii"). The prices for "■Driiil-:. Dyet, Lodging, Fodder, 
Provender, Corn or Pasturage" was fixed by the Justices 
of the County Court. 

t/ 

The poor landowners were reduced to the primitive meth- 
ods of the Indians, using stone hand mortars for pounding or 
grinding their grain, but the better class used hand mills 
brought from England. Nails were made in blacksmith 
shops and all ironware was brought from England. 

Each large planter had his own saw pit, carpenter, cooper, 
blacksmith, tanner, etc. He raised wool and cotton enough 
to clothe his own people, carded, sjjun, and wove his own 
cloth and made his own clothes. Each such plantation was a 
miniature republic in itself, raising its own beef, pork, 
horses, grain, tobacco, wool, cotton, gardens and other neces- 
sities, having its o^vn mechanics, manufacturers, laborers 
and rulers. Many of these planters owned vessels that traded 
with England, the West Indies and sometimes with Europe. 
Slaves made tar and turpentine in the spring "and summer, 
and cleared land in the fall and winter ; the women and chil- 
dren did most of the farm work. One slave on a plantation 
was allowed to carry a gun for the protectpn of stock and to 
kill game for the table. When it became necessary to exe- 
cute a slave, his owaer was paid his value as assessed by the 
Justices and allowed by the Assembly. A planter starting 
life with modest beginnings could, by the increase of his 
stock, slaves and buying more land, which was cheap, soon 
become wealthy. 

'New precincts or counties were formed as the increasing- 
population demanded. AH court-houses built in the 
various precincts or counties were required to be not less 
than twenty-four feet long and sixteen feet wide. Prisons 
and stocks were also provided for the punishlnent of those 
convicted of crimes. 

Such were some of the rules and custom, laws and govern- 
ment, and manners and conditions in the province of Caro- 
lina about the middle of the eighteenth century, under which 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 37 

our forefathers were building up this great Commonwealth. 
And the pioneers of Pitt County were bearing their share of 
those burdens, reaping the attendant blessings and building 
for future generations. 



38 SKETCHES OF PIT'f COUNTY. 



CHAPTER FIVE. 



High Life — Education — Marriage — Domestic Life — 
Mail — Amusements and Pleasure — "High Betty 
Martin" — The Children. 

Among the planters were some who brought the customs 
and manners of their English homes, and they lived as much 
after the style of their former homes as conditions would 
admit. Some, who came as officials, brought their friends, 
retainers and tenants. Many of them belonged to the gentry 
and were highly educated. They had good houses and were 
supplied with many conveniences, unknown to the poorer 
classes. They vied with each other in having the best homes 
and furnishings. 

Educational advantages were very poor. The rich were 
educated in England or at Williamsburg, Virginia, or 
Charleston, South Carolina ; some were taught at home. The 
girls were generally taught by their mothers or placed with 
those who undertook to educate them. The poorer classes 
had so few advantages that few learned much. There were 
no common schools as we have. Servants were sometimes 
taught to read and write by their mistresses. 

The rich got their clothes mostly from England, or other 
colonies, and dressed well. All kinds of manufacturing in 
the colonies was discouraged by England, and the hand-loom 
was long the only means of making cloth. 

At first no one but a minister of the Church of England was 
allowed to perform the marriage ceremony, but owing to 
the scarcity of those ministers laws were passed giving others 
that right also. There were laws against the marriage of 
Indians and whites and of whites and negroes or mulattoes, 
yet these latter seem to have been rather frequent, especially 
between whites and Indians. 

Domestic life was much like that of ante-bellum days of 
'slavery, in the homes of the rich. The men attended to the 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 39 

affairs of the farm or other business while the women, with 
a lot of servants, did the work of the house, weaving, spin- 
ning, sewing, etc. It was an independent, self-reliant life, 
that grew and trained the heroes of later history. 

Thei'e were at this time no mail facilities. Letters and 
other mail came at any time there came any one to bring 
them. They were dispatched in the same manner. As most 
of the planters lived on the rivers, mail was often brought or 
carried by some chance boatman. Official letters were re- 
quired to be forwarded from plantation to plantation, and 
so on to the destination, a severe penalty being prescribed for 
any one who caused delay. The General Assembly provided 
for payment of the costs thus incurred to those who for- 
warded such mail. 

Amusements and pleasure were not as rare as the reader 
might suspect. There were games and plays and outdoor 
amusements in many forms. Indoors, there were music, 
cards, dancing and many games ; outdoors, there were hunt- 
ing, fishing, bowling, perhaps horse racing, cock-fighting and 
other things. Boating and sailing were also much indulged 
in. Singing was also an accomplishment possessed by many 
to a high degree. There were social duties that took some 
time of the more wealthy. Some of their social functions 
would have done credit to a later period. In most of these 
pleasures and amusements there was little distinction of class, 
a common safety making all neighbors, the richer and the 
poorer sharing alike in them. There were many social and 
family games, plays and dances. 

"High Betty Martin" was thus early a favorite. It came 
to North Carolina from Maryland, where it was composed in 
honor of Miss Elizabeth Martin, grandmother of Governor 
Richard Caswell. It ran thus: 

"High Betty Martin, tip-toe, tip-toe, 
High Betty Martin, tip-toe fine; 
She couldn't get a shoe. 
She couldn't get a stocking. 



40 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

She couldn't get a husband 
To suit her mind. 

High Betty Martin, tip-toe, tip-toe," etc. 

The children had their ^ames, playing soldier, Indian, ball, 
etc., the girls having their playthings after the manner of 
to-day, if not up-to-date as now. With all its trials, troubles 
and disadvantages, it may be said to have been a life close to 
nature, simple and not so full of hardships, as is generally 
supposed. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUXTY. 



41 



CHAPTER SIX. 



John Simpson — Petition to Divide Beaufort County — - 
Pitt County Formed — Boundaries — Court-house — 
JSTamed for William Pitt — x^lexander Stewart — 
Taxes — Jurors — Ministerial Jealousy — Line Be- 
tween Pitt and Dobbs — Salter and Moye — Red 
Banks Ferry- — Masonic Lodge — The Assembly. 

John SimiDson, wlio came from Massachusetts and settled 
on Tar River, about six miles below Greenville, calling his 
place "^Chatham," was a member of the Assembly for Beau- 
fort Count}' in 1760. The Assembly met at IS'ewbern. On 
Friday, May 9th, a petition of sundry iiihabitants of Beau- 




^/ 



PITT county, as formed 1760. 
From pen sketch by H. T. K., 1910. 



fort was presented asking for a division of the county, saying 
that the county was "in extent one hundred miles or more 
and divided by a boisterous and tempestuous river," etc. A 



42 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

petition against dividing the county and declaring the above 
untrue, was also presented. By a majority vote, the matter 
was referred to the next session of the Assembly, which met 
in November, the same year. 

]^ovember 19th the committee to examine the petitions for 
the division of Beaufort County reported a gi-eat majority 
in favor of the proposed division, and recommiended it. John 
Simpson was ordered to prepare a bill for such division, 
which he did the same day and introduced. It provided for 
erecting the ''upper part of Beaufort County into a county 
and parish, by the name of Pitt County and St. Michael's 
Parish." The bill passed the Lower House that day and was 
sent to the Upper House. On the 25th it passed the Upper 
House and was ordered engrossed. 

It provided that on and after the first day of January, 
1761, "the upper part of the said county of Beaufort, begin- 
ning at the line between the said county and Tyrrell, running 
south, southwest to Cherry's Run, where the main road 
crosses the said run ; thence down the said run to Tranter's 
Creek ; thence down the said creek to Pamlico River ; thence 
doAvn the said river to the Pork Point, on the south side of 
tlie said river ; thence up the Chocowinity Bay and Creek 
to the head thereof; thence south, southwest, to the dividing 
line of the said county and Craven ; thence along the dividing 
lines of Craven, Dobbs, Edgecomb and Tyrrel ; so that all that 
part of Beaufort County to the westward of Cherry Run, 
Chocowinity Bay and Creek, shall and is hereby declared to 
be a separate county and parish, and shall be called and 
known by the name of Pitt County and St. Michael's Parish, 
with all and every the rights, privileges, benefits and advan- 
tages," etc. 

John Hardee, John Simpson, William Spier, George Moy 
and Isaac Buck were made commissioners for building a 
court-house, prison, pillory and stocks, on the lands of John 
Hardee, on the south side of Tar River near Hardee's Chapel. 
A tax of two shillings on each taxable poll in the county was 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 43 

levied for two years, to pay for the building of the court- 
house, stocks, prison and pillory. Courts were to be held at 
the house of John Hardee until a court-house could be built. 
The freeholders of the county were to meet at his house on 
next Easter to elect twelve vestrymen for the county. 

The county was named in honor of William Pitt, the elder, 
Earl of Chatham, who was then Prime Minister of England, 
and under whose administration England was successful in 
every quarter of the globe. William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, 
was born iN'ovember 15th, 1708, and was the son of Robert 
Pitt, Esquire, of Cornwall. He served long in Parliament, 
was vice-treasurer of Ireland, treasurer and paymaster of the 
army, privy counsellor, and secretary of State. On the 
downfall of the Rockingham administration he was ap- 
pointed Lord Privy Seal and raised to the peerage, with the 
title of Earl of Chatham. He was a great friend of America 
and nobly plead its cause in Parliament. While rising to 
speak in the House of Lords he was stricken with a convulsive 
fit and died about five weeks later, on May 11th, 1778. He 
was one of England's great men. His second son, William, 
was born May 28th,. 1759, became Prime Minister of Eng- 
land in 1783, and died January 23d, 1806. In history he is 
too often confused with his father and credited with being the 
friend of America, while he did not enter upon his career 
until independence was practically won. That John Simp- 
son was a gi-eat admirer of Pitt, and had much to do with 
giving the county its name, may be judged from the fact that 
he named his home "Chatham." 

The formation of Pitt was a blow to Beaufort, whose peo- 
ple felt it. Alexander Stewart, missionary at Bath, wrote 
the next year that his parish had lost "the better half of my 
white parishioners, so that the whole number of whites in 
St. Thomas' Parish is not now quite 1,000, besides about 400 
taxable negroes." 

A report on Tar River about this time said that it was 
navigable for about one hundred miles. 




.^m^-st,^. 



SKETCHES Ol'- PITT COUNTY. 45 

It seems there were no coiintv commissioners at that time 
as we have to-daj, and that the Assembly passed upon matters 
now within their jurisdiction. The formation of Pitt caused 
some confusion about the collection of taxes, and the Assem- 
bly of 1762 allowed Thomas Bonner, late sheriff of Beaufort, 
to collect the taxes for 1760. The Assembly also released 
John Brown from all public duties and taxes. 

Pitt was in the iSTew Bern Superior Court District and sent 
six jurors to that court. It seems that the juries were com- 
posed of twenty-four men. The county courts were held 
quarterly in February, May, August and Xovember, and was 
presided over by Justices of the Peace. 

Pitt had no minister after its separation from Beaufort, 
but the Eev. Mr. Stewart continued to make visits. This 
did not satisfy the people and they employed a Presbyterian 
minister. There was some friction between this Presbyte- 
rian, Rev. John Alexander and Rev. Mr. Stewart and he 
(Rev. John Alexander) left the colony. Rev. Mr. Stewart 
warning others that he was "'an unworthy person." 

The Assembly of 1763 provided for running the line be- 
tween Pitt and Dobbs counties, which had never been done. 
Richard Caswell, John Simpson and William Wilson were 
appointed commissioners to run it. It was to begin from 
"Blount's Ford on Little Contentney Creek to Luke White's, 
then up the Middle Swamp to William Wilson's, and from 
thence to the nearest part of Edgecomb County." 

The Governor's Council met at Wilmingfon in 1704. On 
February 28th, Edward Salter presented a "remonstrance" 
against the "illegal conduct in office" of John Hardee, John 
Tyson, George Moye and Abraham Tyson, Justices of the 
Peace. George Moye thereupon made a counter "remon- 
strance" against Edward Salter, who was also a. Justice of 
the Peace. The matter was referred to the Court of the Jus- 
tices at iSTew Bern and nothing more was heard of it. 

Among the acts of the Assembly this year were those for a 
ferry at Red Banks, for running the line between Pitt and 



46 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

Dobbs counties and for making William Spier's, Simpson's 
and Salter's landings, places for the inspection of tobacco. 

The tax returns for 1765 showed 750 white men taxable 
and 429 blacks and mulattoes, male and female. Beaufort's 
return showed 411 whites and 476 blacks. 

The first Masonic Lodge in IN'orth Carolina was at Crown 
Point, in Pitt County, It is not known when it was estab- 
lished. In 1766 St. John's Grand Lodge of Massachusetts 
issued a dispensation to Thomas Cooper, of the Pitt County 
Lodge, to act as Deputy Grand Master of North Carolina. Re- 
ports of this Lodge for the years 1766 and 1767 are on file in 
the archives of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, at Bos- 
ton. The Greenville Lodge now possesses a certificate of 
membership of one, Clement Holliday, in that Crown Point 
Lodge, dated March 27th, 1768. 

Crown Point was an important stopping place on the road 
to Newborn. It was just on the south side of Turkey Cock 
Swamp, and its inn was popular in colonial days. Wil- 
mington claims to have had a Masonic Lodge as early as 1735, 
but the proof is not so conclusive as that of the Pitt Crown 
Point Lodge. 

The tax returns this year showed 798 whites and 470 blacks 
and mulattoes. 

Among the acts of the Assembly this year were those for 
preventing the wanton destruction of fish in Neuse and Tar 
rivers and Fishing Creek ; for a ]iost from Suffolk, Vir- 
ginia, to the boundary house on the South Carolina line ; and 
the various counties were made coextensive with the parishes, 
100 pounds being appropriated per year for a minister, "un- 
der the Lord Bishop of England. Eev. Mr. Stewart reported 
that in one day he baptized 124 "white and black children" 
in Pitt. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 47 

CHAPTER SEVEK 



Courts — William Moore Complained of Simpson — 
Simpson Censured and Eeprimanded — Mail Route — 
Regulators — March to Alamance — Pitt Company 
Under Captain Salter — Sheriff's Arrears — Mar- 
tinborough. 

In the organization of Superior Courts, Pitt County bad 
been placed in tbe district composed of Craven, Dobbs, Beau- 
fort, Hyde and Pitt. Court was held twice a year by tbe 
Chief Justice of tbe colony and the Associate of tbe district, 
jointly or separately. Tbe oppression of taxation that later 
caused tbe trouble between Governor Tryon and tbe Regula- 
tors was beginning in this part of tbe colony. 

In tbe Assembly on JSTovember 20tb, 1768, John Ashe pre- 
sented the affidavit of William Moore, setting forth that be 
was present at tbe court-house in Pitt County on tbe fourth 
Tuesday in October, it being a term of the Inferior Court, and 
that it was a '^general topic of discourse" with tbe Justices 
that they could do no business, and tbe reason was that they 
did not want a "list of taxables returned to tbe court because 
if it was they were apprehensive of being without a sheriff 
as there was hardly any one who would choose to accept of 
that office on account of the difficulty and hazard that at- 
tended tbe collection of y® taxes." The affidavit further 
stated that the above stated reason was given at the court or 
'before by John Simpson and John Tyson. 

A committee, y^ih powers to enquire into all tbe facts con- 
nected with tbe matter, was appointed, and after diligent en- 
quiry it reported that facts set forth in the affidavit were 
true. The report was made on tbe 24tb and the House de- 
clared Mr. Simpson guilty of a "high misdemeanor, and that 
his conduct in preventing tbe sitting of the Inferior Court of 
Pitt County is greatly injurious to the Public and detestable 
to this House." He was ordered to appear at the bar of the 



48 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

House (of which he was then a member) and receive a "se- 
vere censure and reprimand" from the Speaker for his con- 
duct. This being done, the matter was over. Shortly there- 
after he was granted "leave of absence" for the session, 

A mail route was established through the Colony in 1768,' 
in acordance with an act of 1766. It was the link between 
Williamsburg, Virginia, and Charleston, South Carolina. 
From Suffolk, Virginia, it went to Cotton's Ferry, on the 
Chowan, 40 miles ; then to Appletree's, on the Roanoke, 30 
miles; then to Salter's, on Tar River, 35 miles; then to 
Kemj^'s on the I^euse, 28 miles ; then to New Bern, 10 miles ; 
and on by Wilming-ton, Brunswick and the Boundary House 
into South Carolina and to Charleston. 

Though John Simpson was in sympathy with the Regula- 
tors of Pitt County, he was loyal to the governor, and when 
Robert Salter reported that he had just come from Tarboro, 
where he learned that the Regulators of Bute and Johnston 
counties were jireparing to go to ISTew Bern to prevent Colonel 
Fanning taking his seat in the Assembly of 1770, he (Simp- 
son) readily ordered the militia to meet at the court-house, to 
be in readiness to march to 'New Bern to be at the governor's 
service. He was colonel of the. Pitt Regiment of militia. 
December 5th Colonel Simpson notified Governor Tryon 
that he had 358 men, with six days provisions, ready to 
march to New Bern, if required. 

They were not required at jSTew Bern. But they seem to 
have been held somewhat in readiness, as the trouble grew 
and a revolution was imminent in the western counties. 
April 13th, 1771, Colonel Simpson paid Captain Robert Sal- 
ter one hundred pounds, to be applied to raising a company 
of infantry to join Governor Tryon's expedition against the 
Regulators. Benjamin Randall was paid forty shillings, as 
bounty on the service against the Regulators. Having deter- 
mined to march against the Regulators, Governor Tryon left 
New Bern April 22d, and arrived at Colonel Bryan's, 100 
miles from ISTow Bern, May 1st, with the troops from the 



SKKTCIIES OF PITT COUj>JTy. 49 

eastern counties. There lie was joined by the troops from the 
Wilmington District on the 3d. The next day he reviewed 
them in the meadow at Smith's Ferry, one company from 
Pitt under Capt. Robert Salter being among them. On the 
4th, the march was taken up for Hillsborough, going by way 
of Johnston Court-house. On the night of the 7th, the Pitt 
Company served as pickets, and next day as baggage guard. 
On the 15th, they were at Camp Alamance and line of battle 
was formed for the morrow. In the assignments of surgeons, 
the Pitt company, with those of Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, 
Dobbs, and the Rangers, was under Dr. Haslin. The next 
day. May 16th, 1771, was fought the battle of Alamance. 
The Pitt Company was very probably with the others from 
the l!^ew Bern District, under Colonel Leach, occupying the 
right on the front line. Governor Tryon had about 1,100 
men, the Regulators being estimated at something like 2,000, 
with few guns, most of them having clubs, or unwieldly and 
useless weapons. The fight continued for some time, but 
could only result in the defeat of the Regulators, who lost 
more than 100 killed and wounded, while the troops lost nine 
killed and about sixty wounded. Thus was fought the first 
battle of Liberty — was shed the first blood for Liberty — in the 
colonies, and Pitt County, which was afterwards so devoted to 
the cause of Liberty, fought on the side of royalty. 

Officers were not much better in collecting and turning in 
public moneys then than are some now. In the report for 
1771 is found that 66,443 pounds arfd 9 pence are due the 
Colony. Of this amount Pitt was behind by sheriffs as fol- 
lows : Abraham Tyson, 518 pounds, 13 shillings and 3 
pence for 1765 (judgment and execution) ; George Moye, 
61 pounds, 7 shillings and 9 pence for 1766 (execution) ; 
William Moore, 230 pounds and 3 shillings for 1769 and 
301 pounds for 1770; making 1010 pounds and 3 shillings 
for Pitt County. 

Pitt had now grown to such importance that a permanent 
town and good court-house were wanted. Richard Evans 

4 



50 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

and Alex. Stewart were its members in the Assembly, and on 
the 3d of Jannary, 1771, Mr. Evans introduced a bill for a 
town on his lands. It failed at this session, but was passed 
at the December, following, session. In transmitting a re- 
port of the laws of the session to Lord Hillsborough, Governor 
Martin said, "The place is considered to be convenient for 
trade and a town being in request among the people of the 
county I was induced to pass this act for its erection and to 
accept the compliment desigTied to me by its name." The 
to^vn w^as named Martinborough. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 51 



CHAPTER EIGHT. 



Official Cokruption — Blue Laws — County Officers — 
The ^'John axd Elizabeth" Schooner Affair — Eew 
Taxes Paid — Militia Officers — Martinborough — 
Revolutionary Proceedings — Pitt Freeholders Is- 
sue A Declaration of Rights — Standing Committee 
Appointed. ' 

.During the beginning of Governor Josiah Martin's admin- 
istration, the same troubles that caused the trouble and battle 
of Alamance continued, though not so greatly as during that 
of Governor Trjon. Officers continued to collect unlawful 
fees, though Governor Martin issued proclamations against it 
and forbid such. 

In order to aid the promotion of religion, virtue, morality 
and upbuild, he also issued a proclamation, demanding the 
"discovery and effectual prosecution of all persons who shall 
be guilty of drunkenness, blasphemy, profane swearing and 
cursing, lewdness, profanation of the Lord's day, or other 
dissolute, immoral or disorderly practices." Despite all ef- 
forts to stop oppression, it continued and the people were 
growing more and more in opposition to the royal govern- 
ment. 

x\. list of the officers for Pitt County at this time shows 
that Edward Salter was clerk of the court ; John Simpson, 
register, and also colonel of the militia ; Dempsey Grimes, 
coroner. 

In 1769 John Simpson's schooner, the '"'John and Eliza- 
beth," sailed from Port Royal, Jamaica, for home, with a 
valuable cargo. Bad weather drove it to Vera Cruz, Mexico, 
where it was seized by the Spaniards and held until February 
6th, 1772. when it was ordered to leave. Reaching Havana, 
the crew embarked on another ship, the sloop "Sally," for 
North Carolina, arriving in Pasquotank in April. They 
told a tale of suffering, imprisonment and robbery, and 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUXTT. 53 

Simpson asked the governor to have these wrongs redressed. 
The crew seems to have returned with ninch money and that 
aroused suspicion. Ebenezer Fuller, the master of the 
schooner, soon left the Colony. Ichabod Simpson, brother to 
John Simpson, was mate. The result of the investigation 
was an incrimination of the crew and Simpson never recov- 
ered any damages. 

A report to the Assembly at JSTew Bern, March 5th, 1773, 
showed that S02 pounds and 18 shillings were still due from 
the sheriffs of Pitt County on the public taxes, as follows : 
George Move, 61 pounds, 7 shillings and 9 pence; William 
Moore, 333 pounds and 8 shillings; Robert Salter, 498 
pounds, 2 shillings and 3 pence. These, in a measure, show 
the opposition of the people to the burdensome taxes of those 
times. The Eeceiver General's, (John Rutherford) report 
showed that Pitt County had paid no quit iients, arrears of 
quit rents, fines, forfeitures, and other income^, from March 
25th, 1772, to the same date 1773. Another report showed 
none collected for the two years j^revious. 

The field return of the regiment of Pitt militia at a gen- 
eral muster on the 18th of November, 1773, showed seven 
companies present with 566 men. One company was not 
represented. Three companies reported 30 men absent. 
The commissioned officers were John Tyson, Colonel; Amos 
Atkinson, Lieutenant-Colonel, and Aaron Tyson, Major. 
The returns were sigTied by John Simpson, Colonel, and John 
Leslie, Adjutant. 

The act for a town on .the lands of Richard Evans on Tar 
River had never been carried out, and in 1774 a supplemen- 
tary act was passed providing for that town, by the name of 
Martinborough. The act also provided for the sale of lots 
by lottery and the removal of the court-house, prison and 
stocks and making it the county town. 

During all these times the feelings between the colonies 
and England were growing more bitter. A meeting was 
held in Wilming-ton, July 21st, 1774, and a call issued for a 



54 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

general meeting to be held at Johnston court-house on the 
20th of August. Some counties appointed delegates to that 
meeting, but it was not held. Counties began holding revolu- 
tionary meetings, Eowan holding the first, August 8th, with 
Craven following on August 9th, Johnston on the 12th, Pitt 
and Granville on the 15th, and others soon thereafter, all 
appointing delegates to a general convention of the colony to 
be held at 'New Bern on the 25th. Governor Martin protested 
against these meetings as "derogatory to the dignity of his 
Majesty and his Parliament, and tending to excite Clamour, 
and discontent among the King's subjects." He also issued a 
proclamation, requiring all officers to prohibit and prevent 
such meetings and especially that to be held at ISTew Bern. 

The *Minutes of the meeting at Martinborough are as 
follows : 

"jSToeth Caroltna, 
"Pitt County, August 15th, 1774.' 

"At a general meeting of the freeholders of the county 
aforesaid at the town of Martinborough, John Hardee, Esq., 
in the chair, 

''Resolved, That as the Constitutional Assembly of this 
Colony are prevented from exercising their rights of provid- 
ing for the security of the liberties of the people, that right 
again reverts to the people as the foundation from whence all 
power and legislation flow. 

"Resolved, That John Simpson and Edward Salter, 
Esqrs., do at lend at the town of New Bern on the 25th instant 
in general Convention of this Province and there to exert 
their utmost abilities preventing the growing system of minis- 
terial Despotism which now threatens the destruction of 
American Liberties, and that you our deputies may be ac- 
quainted with the sentiments of the people of this county, it 
is their opinion, that you proceed to choose proper persons to 
represent this Province in a General Congress of America to 

* The Minutes of the proceedings of the Committee of Safety were long on file in the 
Court House, but have disappeared. Some years ago this writer made a copy for his own 
use, and has preserved thorn. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 55 

meet at such time and place as may be hereafter agreed on. 
That these delegates be instructed to a declaration of Ameri- 
can rights setting forth that British America and all its 
inhabitants shall be and remain in due subjection to the 
Crown of England and to the illustrious family of the throne, 
Submitting by their own voluntary act, and enjoying all their 
free chartered rights and liberties as British free subjects. 
That it is the first law of Legislation and of the British Con- 
stitution that no man be taxed but by his consent. Expressed 
by himself or by his legal Representatives. 

''On motion the said meeting was then dissolved." 
October 4th, another meeting was held and a standing com- 
mittee for the county was appointed, consisting of John Har- 
dee, John Simpson, Robert Salter, Edward Salter, William 
Bryant, Edmond Williams, Benjamin May, George Evans 
and Amos Atkinson, any five of whom were to be a quorum for 

• 

the transaction of business. The committee met again on 
the 2Tth and elected John Hardee chairman, and Edward 
Salter, clerk. They adjourned to meet the first Thursday in 
iTovember. 



56 



SKETCHES OF PITT- COUNTY. 



CHAPTER NINE. 



Help for Boston — Donations Asked — Committee 
Elected as Directed by the Continental Congress — 
Members — The Salt Question — Provincial Congress 
AT New Bern — Court-house — Vermin. 

The first, business that occupied the comniittee at its No- 
vember meeting was the condition of the people of Boston, 
and ''On motion, the Committee Considering the present un- 




THP: WILLIAMS HorsK. 
Where I'tcsidciit \V;isliiii;5ton dined wlien in (ireenvil 



III liis southern tour. 



happy situation of the inhabitants of the town of Boston, and 
the miserable distress the poor inhabitants of said town are 
reduced to by the effects of the late acts of Parliament block- 
ing up the ])ort and harbor of the said town of Boston, and the 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 57 

poor of said town can not exist nor support themselves and 
families without the assistance of the neighboring coUinys, in 
order to relieve and support said poor of Boston, as far as our 
situation and circumstances admit, we appoint John Hardee, 
Esq., Wm. Bryant, John Knoles Jr , James Gorham, 
Samuel Calhoun, John Page, John Williams, Henry Ellis, 
George Evans, George Moye, William Travis, James Arm- 
strong, Robert Salter, James Latham, David Perkins, God- 
frey Stansel, John Tison, Allen Sugg, Aaron Tison, Charles 
Forbes, James Brooks, Jacob Blount and Laz Paine to assist 
the gentlemen of the vestry of St. Michael's Parish in collect- 
ing for the support of the said sufferers in said town of Bos- 
ton, from such generous persons of this county as may give by 
subscription for support of said sufferers, such persons with 
the vestry to have subscription for that purpose, payable to the 
committee heretofore mentioned, them or either of them, they 
and each of them keeping a plain and regular acount of what 
they receive and to give each person a receipt for said dona- 
tion, and to furnish this committee of this county with a copy 
or the. original of each of their accounts for their inspection 
and correction, which donations are to be collected from each 
receiver by the direction of the said committee, to be shipped 
for the benefit of said Poore of Boston to any port on the con- 
tinent, that the committee may think most Beneficial all the 
net proceeds thereof to be ordered into the hands of the com- 
mittee appointed to receive the several donations from the dif- 
ferent countys, towns, etc., on the continent in said town of 
Boston. 

''Resolved, That this committee wil be thankful to any per- 
son or persons for any advice that may be of service to the 
committee in general. 

''Resolved, That the proceedings of this committee be open 
for the inspection of any Inhabitants of this county, they, he 
or she being a friend to the freedom of American Liberty. 

"Ordered that John Hardee, John Simpson, and Edward 
Salter acquaint the standing committee of this province, that 



58 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

a committee of this county bath formed themselves, and are 
ready to communicate and receive advice from them. 

''The committee then adjourned till this day two weeks." 

The Committee mjet again on the lYth. An abstract of 
the proceedings of the Continental Congress, recently held at 
Philadelphia, was presented and read. Another meeting 
was called and advertised for December 9th, for electing a 
number of persons as a "committee" as required by a resolu- 
tion of the Continental Congress. ' At the December, 9th, 
meeting the following were elected to constitute that com- 
mittee, agreeable to the directions of the congress : John Har- 
dee, James Lockhart, Benjamin May, William Travis, James 
Armstrong, Frederick Gibble, Amos Atkinson, William Rob- 
son, Edmond Williams, John Knowles, James Gorham, 
John Simpson, James Lanier, George Evans, Ichabod Simp- 
son, Edward Salter, Peter Rives, William Bryant, Robert 
Salter, David Perkins, James Latham and Joseph Gainer. 

The newly elected Committee then met on same day. John 
Simpson was elected chairman. The following is the account 
of their proceedings : 

''The Association of the Continental Congress held at the 
Cittie of Philada. on 20th, Oct. Past was exhibited and 
read — • 

"Resolved, That this committee doth approve of said As- 
sotiation. 

"Whereas there is many complaints that the Trading Ves- 
sels and others have raised on the price of Salt, occasioned by 
the scarcity of that article, which is contrary to the resolution 
of the Continental Congress that traders are not to take an 
advantage of the scarcity of Goods — the committee therefore 
recommend that salt should not be sold for more than three 
shillings four pence per bushel at Gorham's landing and 
above and below that place in proportion with freight and 
loss ; any person acting contrary to the same will be deemed 
an enemie to his country. 

"The committee ndjoimiod till 2Sth dav of Jan Next." 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUI^TY. 59 

The first Provincial Congress in jSTorth Carolina met at 
ISTew Bern, August 25tli, with a majority of the counties rep- 
resented. It was in session three days. After many indict- 
ments of the English colonial governments, though professing 
all due allegiance to the King, all the rights and privileges of 
British subjects were demanded, and unless gTanted it was 
resolved that after January, 1775. to imj^ort nothing from 
England, and that after IsTovember. 1775, to export nothing to 
that country, and declared it would ''break" with any colony 
that refused to obey the Continental Congress. It elected 
William Hooper, Joseph Howes and Eichard Caswell dele- 
gates to the Continental Congress, to meet at Philadelphia. 

The Assembly this year appointed George Evans, Charles 
Forbes, Henry Ellis, Benjamin May and William Eoberson, 
commissioners to contract with workmen for the removal of 
the court-house, prison and stocks to Martinborough. Courts 
were to be held at the house of John Leslie, in Martinborough, 
until the removal could be completed.' 

The act for destroying "vermin" was extended to Pitt and 
other counties, not before included. 

The close of the year 1774 saw practically a state of con- 
flict between the people and the royal governments in the 
colonies. Though there had been no bloodshed, indications 
were that it might be shed at any time and the people of 
ISTorth Carolina, the people of Pitt County, were preparing 
for what might follow. 



60 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



CHAPTER TEN. 



Committee of Safety Proceedings — Deputies to Pro- 
vincial Congress Elected — Three Obstructionists — 
Acts of Continental Congress Approved — -John 
Tison, Tory — Help for Boston — Provincial Con- 
gress AND AsSEMBLY'^ SeCOND DECLARATION OF RiGHTS 

— Rev. Mr. Blount — Patrollers — Atkinson and 
Sheppard. 

There is no record of a meetiiig of the Committee of 
Safety January 28th, 1775, according to the adjournment of 
the meeting of December 9th, 1774, the next meeting of 
record being on February 11th, 1775. The only business of 
this meeting was to authorize John Simpson to write North 
for a vessel to carry the donations from the county to Boston, 
and to call and advertise for a meeting for March 10th, next, 
to elect deputies to represent the county in the next Provin- 
cial Congress. 

At that meeting John Simpson, Edward Salter, James Gor- 
ham, James Lanier and William Robson were elected depu- 
ties. The "Resolves" of the committee for Craven County 
were read and approved. The Committee having been in- 
formed that Amos Atkinson, Solomon Sheppard and John 
Tison had "in many Instances Obstructed the Contribution 
for the Relief of the poore of Boston, etc., Ordered that the 
Chairman Address the Sd Gentlemen, so they may appear at 
the next Meet'g of the Comimittee. and Justifie Themselves 
in that Particular. 

"Adjourned till the 24th of this month." 

The Committee met on the 24th and adjourned on the 20th> 
of April, of which, if there was a meeting, there is no record, 
the next being that of May 1st, of which the following is the 
acount of the proceedings : — 

"The association of the Continental Congress lately held at 
Philadelphia was produced and read. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUXTY. 



61 



"Resolved imanimoiislj by evei^ member of this committee 
that we and every one of us do bigbly approve and will 
strictly observe the said Eesolves in Testimony whereof Each 
Member subscribes the same. 




J%-^W^ M-^^-^s^ 




"It having been represented to this committee that John 
Tison hath frequently spoken disrespectfully of the proceed- 



62 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

ings of the Congress in general and of this committee in par- 
ticular, on a supposition that such charge is true, it must be 
owned that the said Tison highly deserves to be stigTiiatized, 
but as it is not yet reduced to a certainty whether he is guilty 
or not or if he is, may have proceeded from unguarded heat or 
Ignorance and as it is the firm attention of this committee to 
proceed in their censures with charity and circumspection, it 
is therefore ordered that Mr. George Evans, Mr. James 
Lockhart and Mr, Benjamin May or either two of them do 
attend the said John Tison to remonstrate, cite him to appear 
before this committee when it shall next sit on the 13th day 
of this present Inst, then and there to answer the above 
charge." The committee met on the 13th and simply ad- 
journed to the 20th, at which time it met and among other 
business 

''Resolved that John Tison be advertised in the public 
papers." 

At the meeting May 27th. the chairman received for the 
use of the town of Boston from William Robeson 12 shillings, 
William Bryant and Avent Pope 20 shillings, James Robe- 
son 1 shilling. 

To the Provincial CongTess that met in ]^ew Bern, April 
3d, Pitt sent James Gorham. James Lanier, W^illiam Robe- 
son, John Simpson and Edward Saltei. This /Congress 
"most Heartily" approved of the acts of the Continental 
Congress and pledged its support for all measures advocated 
by it. AVilliam Hooper, Joseph Hewes and Richard Cas- 
well were appointed delegates to tlie General CongTess to be 
held at Philadelphia on the 10th of May, and it was recom- 
mended that each county raise "the sum of twenty pounds for 
the jDurpose of paying the expenses of the delegates. 

The Assembly met at New Bern on the 4th of April. To 
this Assembly Pitt sent John Simpson and Edward Salter. 
Thus these two men were, at the same time, members of two 
different Assemblies that were opposed or hostile to each 
other in intent. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 63 

The Committee met June 10th and called a meeting for the 
23d, for the purpose of electing such persons as might be 
deemed proper, to carry into execution the "Resolves" of the 
General Congress. The "Resolves" of the Craven County 
Committee were read and approved. At the meeting of the 
23d, held at the house of John Leslie, many members were 
added to the committee, to assist in carrying out the resolves 
of Congress. 

The Committee met next on July 1st and passed the follow- 
ing resolution : 

"AYe the freeholders and inhabitants of the county of Pitt 
and town of Martinborough, being deeply affected with the 
present alarming state of this Province and all America — Do 
Resolve that we will pay all due allegiance to his majesty 
King George the third and endeavor to continue the succes- 
sion of his crown in the Illustrious house of Hanover as by 
law established, against the present or any future wicked min-' 
istry, or arbitrary set of men whatsoever, at the same time 
we are determined to assert our rights as men and sensible 
that by the late acts of Parliament the most valuable Liberties 
and privileges of America are invaded and endeavor to be 
violated and destroyed and that under God the preser- 
vation of them depends on a firm union of the in- 
habitants and a sturdy spirited observation of the Resolutions 
of the General Congress, being shocked at the cruel scenes 
now acting in the Massachusetts Bay and determined never 
to become slaves to any power upon earth, we do hereby 
agree and associate under all tyes of Religion, Honour, and 
regard for Posterity that we will adopt and endeavor to exe- 
cute the measures which the General Congress now sitting at 
Philadelphia conclude on for preserving our constitution and 
opposing the execution of the several arbitrary Illegal acts of 
the British Parliament and that we will readily observe The 
Directions of our General Committee for the purpose afore- 
said, the Preservation of Peace and Good Order and Security 
of Individuals and private property," which was signed by 



64 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

87 members. The committee also adopted rules of order for 
conduct of its meetings, Patrolers were appointed for the 
proper control of slaves. Any slave found off his master's 
premises without a pass, was liable to thirty-nine lashes or 
perhaps less. It was resolved that the Eev. Mr. Blount should 

"preach in the Court-House of Martinborough on " 

it was also resolved "That the 20th day of this Inst., be 
Observed as a day of Publick Fasting and Humiliation 
agreeable to the appointment of the Continental Congress & 
that Eeverend Mr. Blount by desire of the chairman to 
Preach a Sermon at the Court House in Martinborough Suit- 
able to the Occasion." 

The Committee met July 8th, and authorized the patrolers 
to shoot any number of negi'oes who were armed and did not 
readily submit and gave them discretionary power to shoot 
any number of negroes above four who were off their master's 
plantation and would not submit. Any negro so killed was 
to be paid for out of a poll tax on all the taxable negroes in 
the county. 

At the meeting of July 17th, Amos Atkinson and Solomon 
Sheppard appeared and acquitted themselves of the accusa- 
tions of disloyalty charged against them at the meeting of 
March lOth. Some of the companies previously organized 
reported the election of officers. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 65 



CHAPTER ELEVEN. 



JSTegro I^'surrectiois" — Measures to Prevent It — White 
Man Instigator — JSTo Lives Lost^ but Negroes Whip- 
ped — Delegates to Hillsboro — Raising Troops — 
Military Districts and Officers — Justices Qualify 
— Trouble About Rev. Mr. Blount. 

While preparations were being so actively made to meet a 
foreign foe, as England was then considered, a worse foe was 
to be foimd at home. It was a slave insurrection, no doubt 
fostered and welcomed by the enemies of American liberty. 
Accounts of it are meagi^e, and as it" did not really occur, it 
is best told in a letter of John Simpson to Richard Gogdell, 
chairman of the Craven Countv Committee, under date of 
July 15th, 1775. He wrote as fellows: ''* * * Our 

Committee met the Inst., when the Express arrived 

from Mr. Edward Salter giving us account of a discovery that 
was made in Beaufort County by one of Mr. Dayner and one 
of Captain Respess negro men unto Capt. Thomas Respess 
of an intended insurrection of the negroes against the whole 
people which was to be put into execution that night. We 
immediately sent off an Express to Tarborough to alarm the 
inhabitants there, we then proceeded to busines and appointed 
upwards of one hundred men as patrolers and passed a resolve 
that any negroes that should be destroyed by them or any 
person in company with them in apprehending should be paid 
for by a tax on the negroes in this county. W^e then separated 
to sound the alarm through this county and apprehend the 
suspected heads. By night we had in custody and in goal 
near forty under proper guard. Sunday the committee sett 
and proceeded to examine into the affair and find it a deep 
laid Horrid Tragick Plan laid for destroying the inhabitants 
of this province without respect of persons, age or sex. By 

negro evidence it appears that Capt Johnson of 

5 



66 SKETCHES or PITT COUNTY. 

White Haven, who hath just loaded his Brigg with Naval 
Stores for that port, in consort with Merrick, a negro man 
slave who formerly belonged to Major Clark a Pilot at Oka- 
cock but now to Capt. Nath Blinu of Bath Town propagated 
the contagion. * * * Xhe contagion has spread beyond 
the waters. There are five negroes * * * were whipt 
this day by order. 

"Monday — The Committee sat. Ordered several to be 
severely whipt and sentenced several to receive 80 lashes each 
to have both Ears crap'd which was executed in the presence 
of the Committee and a great number of spectators. In the 
afternoon we received by express from Coll. Blount * * * 
q£ * * * i^iegroes being in arms on the line of Craven 
and Pitt and prayed assistance of men and ammunition 
which we readily granted. We posted guards upon the roads 
for several miles that night. Just as I got home came one 
of Mr. ISTelson's sons from Pometo (near Mr. Harlan's mill) 
and informed me of 250 negi'oes that had been pursued for 
several days but none taken nor seen tho' they were several 
times fired at. Had he been at Martinborough he would 
have received pay for his negroes. On Tuesday we sent off 
two companies of Light Horse, one to Lower and one to 
Upper Swift Creek Bridge in order to find from whence the 
report arose and found the author to be a negro wench of 
William Taylor's on Clay Root, with design to kill her master 
and mistress and Lay it upon those negroes. She has re- 
ceived severe correction. Since that we have remained as 
quiet as we could from the nature of things. We keep tak- 
ing up, examining and scourging more or less every day; 
From whichever part of the County they come they all confess 
nearly the same thing, viz, that they were one and all on the 
night of the 8th inst to fall on and destroy the family where 
they lived, then to proceed from House to House (Burning 
as they went) until they arrived in the back country where 
they were to be received with by a number of Persons there 
appointed and armed by the Government for their protection, 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 67 

and as a further reward they were to be settled in a free gov- 
ernment of their own. 

"Capt. Johnson its said was heard to saj that he'd return 
in the fall and take choice of the Plantations upon this 
River." 

In a postscript to the letter he said considerable ammuni- 
tion was found when disarming the negroes. Thus was 
timely checked a plot of murder and rapine that might have 
been worse than that of the Indians of 1712. 

The Committee met on the 21st of July and adjourned to 
the 29th. 

To the Provincial Congress at Hillsboro Pitt sent John 
Simpson, Robert Salter, William Bryan, James Gorham and 
James Latham. This Congress professed loyalty to the King, 
but denied the right of taxation without representation and 
made preparations for war. A provisional government was 
organized and the control of the colony passed from that of 
the royalists to that of the people. Samuel Johnston, by 
virtue of being chairman of the Provincial Council was de 
facto Governor. 

The Congi'ess at Hillsboro ordered two regiments, of five 
hundred men each, to be raised. In each district ten com- 
panies, of fifty men each, were ordered raised, these ten com- 
panies to form a battalion and to be known as Minute Men. 
In the New Bern District Richard Caswell was made Col- 
onel; William Bryan, Lieutenant Colonel; James Gorham, 
Major. William Bryan was from Craven ; Jam,es Gorham 
was from Pitt. Robert Salter was appointed Commissary 
for the New Bern District. The colony had some time be- 
fore been divided into six Superior Court Districts and these 
military and other districts were the same as the old Superior 
Court Districts. The Militia Field Officers of Pitt were 
John Simpson, Colonel ; Robert Salter, Lieutenant Colonel ; 
George Evans, First Major; James Armstrong, Second Ma- 
jor. In proportioning the Minute Men to bo raised, one 
Company was to be from Pitt, out of sixty to be raised in the 



68 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

colony. Committees of Safety for each District were ap- 
pointed and Edward Salter was a member for the ISTew Bern 
District. 

When the people of Pitt became so active in their opposi- 
tion to the Eoyal Government, Governor Martin appointed 
new Justices of the Peace for the County. Those new ap- 
pointees refused to recognize themselves as Justices, and the 
need of them, to carry on the business of the courts and other 
public duties, made the Provincial Congress recommend that 
they qualify, which of course they then did. 

At a meeting of the Committee some time in August, some 
of those who had "Received Apart" subscriptions for the re- 
lief of Boston, were ordered to refund to those who had do- 
nated. The - matter of the employment of Rev. IsTathaniel 
Blount to serve the parish for twenty years was giving trouble, 
and he was given notice that he could withdraw from the 
agreement. There were perhaps too few of his members for 
the other churches to be satisfied. His withdrawal was con- 
sidered "the only method to Unite the People of the County." 
At a meeting on the 23d, over eighty new members signed or 
pledged themselves to abide by the acts of the Committee. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 69 



CHAPTER TWELVE. 



Committee Meets — Hillsboeough Resolves — John 
TisoN^ Patriot — Delegates to Provincial Congress 
— Committee of Secrecy^ Intelligence and Observa- 
tion — Pay for Provisions — Ammunition Bought — 
Salt — Pay for Ammunition-^Allowances to Troops 
— Preparations for War. 

THe Committee met September 9th. John Tison, Esq., 
was notified to attend the next meeting to answer the different 
allegations made against him. Some new patrolers were ap- 
pointed, and it was ordered that "no Parson Act in any Pub- 
lick Cappassitj without signing the Association." 

The Committee met on the 23d and had the Resolves of the 
Hillsboro Congress entered upon the Minutes, which recom- 
mended that a complete census of the inhabitants, giving age, 
color, sex, polls, etc., be taken. The freeholders were adver- 
tised to meet on the third Tuesday in October to elect not 
more than five persons to represent the county in the next 
Provincial CongTess, and also to elect twenty-one or more 
persons to act as a Committee for the County. John Tison, 
who had been notified to appear before the Committee, to 
answer charges of disloyalty and disrespect to the Committee, 
appeared, and swore allegiance. 

At the meeting on the 24th Benjamin Bowers presented a 
list of those elected at an election held on the 17th. Those 
elected organized by electing John Simpson, chainnan and 
Thomas Wolfenden, clerk. Sheriff Bowers also showed that 
by the returns of the same election that John Simpson, Ed- 
ward Salter, and William Robeson were elected delegates to 
represent the County in the Provincial Congress for the ensu- 
ing year. 

At the meeting on the 25th some action was taken regard- 
ing the neglect of duties by the road overseers. Permission 
was given Captain John Cooper to sue John Knox and to 



70 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

warrant Patrick Robeson. A "Select Committee of Secrecy, 
Intelligence and Observation" was appointed. It consisted 
of John Simpson, Arthur Forbes, William Robeson, George 
Evans, Simon Pope, Robert Salter and Thomas Wolfenden. 

The Provincial Council met at the court house in John- 
ston County, this month (October). Among its resolutions 
was "Resolved that the Treasurers or either of them pay into 
the hands of Mr. Robert Salter Commissary of New Bern 
district the sum of five hundred pounds proclamation money 
to enable him to purchase provisions for the troops and that 
they be allowed in their Accounts with the Public." 

At the meeting of November 11th, the chairman gave the 
information that a quantity of powder and ball had been re- 
ceived. It was turned over to that "Committee of Secrecy, 
Intelligence and Observation." It seems the vessel bringing 
the powder and ball had been seized and the full amount was 
not delivered. At the next meeting, December 16th, Captain 
Paule White, whose vessel was seized and who sold the pow- 
der and ball, presenting his *account as follows : 

£450 

To Y17 lbs of powder @ 5s £179 5 

To 1,782 lbs of Lead @ 63s 56 2 6 

To 8 casks for the Lead @ 2s 16 

To 2 hogsheads for the powder@lls.. 12 

237 5 1 

75 pr ct advance pr agreement 177 19 2 

£415 4 8 



£865 4 8 



The account was allowed and a copy ordered sent to the 
Provincial Council for approval. On complaint of John 
Bowers that John Brady owed him, but had left the County, 
and that James Brady and William Brady owed John Brady 
enough to pay the debt, it was ordered that they pay 

•This account'ls a copy of the oriKlnal. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 71 

Bowers. Merchants were solicited not to sell salt above five 
shillings a bushel except under certain circumstances. Be- 
ing informed that Captain Paule White had a quantity of 
powder, Colonel Robert Salter and Arthur Forbes were in- 
structed to secure it. 

The Provincial Council met at the court house in John- 
ston, on the 18th of December. Among tha first business was 
the payment to John Simpson, Edward and Robert Salter, 
the sum of £864 4s 8d for the Captain White account. It 
seems that Captain White got to Ocracoke with the powder 
and lead, when he was captured by a British warship, but he 
succeeded in getting away with some of his cargo, which was 
brought to Martinborough and bought by the committee. 

In addition to the rations already allowed the troops, the 
Continental Congress recommended that the following be 
allowed additional : '"Three pints of peas or beans per week, 
or vegetables equivalent, rating the peas or beans at a dollar 
per Bushel ; one pint of milk per day, or at the rate of 1/12 
of a dollar per pint ; half a pint of rice or one pint of Indian 
Meal per man per week; one quart of spruce beer or cyder 
per man or nine gallons of Molasses per Company of one hun- 
dred men per week; three pounds of candles to one hundred 
men per we^k for Guards ; twenty-four pounds soft, or eight 
pounds of hard soap per one hundred men per week." All 
this was allowed and in addition, the sum of two pence per 
day to each man, to be paid by the commissaries and allowed 
them in settlements. 

This has been an eventful year with the people of Pitt 
County. Always professing allegiance to the King of Eng- 
land, they had steadily prepared to absolve that allegiance. 
They had practically made the first Declaration of Independ- 
ence, and had taken charge of the county affairs. The Com- 
mittee of Safety had grown from, a few men to two hundred 
or more, and more names were being added at nearly every 
meeting. Its men had met every question of State and 



72 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

were taking part in the birth of a new nation that was to be- 
come great, gi-eater, and at last the greatest of all nations. 

Ivobert Salter was Commissary of the New Bern District ; 
James Gorham, Major of the Minute Men for the same dis- 
trict; Edward Salter was a member of the Committee of 
Safety for the same district. The County Committee had 
taken charge of the County affairs and it would seem that a 
new era had already dawned. The people, through their rep- 
resentatives had pledged themselves to stand by the declara- 
tions of the Provincial Congress, and that Congress had 
pledged itself to stand by the declarations of the Continental 
Congress. So Independence was practically had, though no 
formal declaration had been made by any duly delegated 
authorities, except that of Mecklenburg and quasi resolves of 
other counties. 

There was no mistaking war. At Lexington the first blood 
had been shed, and in our own ISTorth Carolina patriotic blood 
was hot for the conflict. North Carolina soldiers were 
camping in other States. And the people of Pitt County 
were with the foremost in the struggle that was at hand. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 73 



CHAPTER THIRTEEN". 



Pitt Members of District Committee — Capt. James 
Armstrong — Test and Pledge— Supplies Bought — 
Pitt at Battle of Moore's Creek — More Patrollers 
— Salt — Delinquents — Daniel Fore — Bounty Money 
— Arthur Moore — Mr. Carson^ Dancing Master — 
Delegates to Halifax — -Instructions for Independ- 
ence — John Simpson. 

The principal events in the County during 1776 were the 
meetings of the Committee sind preparations for resisting 
British power. The Committee seems to have become or to 
have been succeeded, by a regular county government by 
the end of the year. 

A meeting of the District Committee was held at iSTew 
Bern, beginning January 16th. Edward Salter was the 
member from Pitt. Roger Ormond, of Beaufort, having 
died, John Simpson was elected in his stead, thus giving Pitt 
two members on the Committee. Salt was a very important 
article and difficult to get. The Committee had control of 
its distribution and sale. The District Committee ordered 
eight hundred bushels sent to Martinborough, to be sold by 
the County Committee. 

The County Committee met on the 23d. A ' 'certificate" 
was issued to' Captain James Armstrong, who had raised a 
Company of Minute Men. Major George Evans was author- 
ized to raise a Company, which should choose its own officers' 
and after twelve months training, be placed under the au- 
thority of the Provincial CongTess, which should provide for 
them and pay for their services. The chairman was ordered 
to receipt for arms received from Robert Jameson, for the 
use of the Continental Army. The Captains of the militia 
were ordered to see that the people signed the pledge and test 
to the committee. The chairman laid before the Committee 
a letter from District Committee relating to John Tison, 



74 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

which was ordered filed. He also produced receipt from 
Majors Batton and Gorham for a quantity of ammunition. 

He reported that he had received 150 1-2 yards of 

and was ordered to pay Rother Leathem 16d per yard. Also 
a letter and receipt for powder, from the Edenton District 
Committee. Mr. Pettit and Mr. Kennady were ordered to 
choose persons to settle their affairs. 

Donald McDonald, a Scottish Highlander, who had settled 
in Cumberland County, received a commission from Governor 
]\rartin, who was aboard the British ship of war. Cruiser, at 
Wilmington, raised the royal standard and soon had about 
fifteen hundred men enlisted. They were from the Cape 
Tear section. Learning this, an emergency meeting of the 
Xew Bern District was held February 10th, It seems that 
the members from Pitt did not know of this meeting, as 
neither attended. Colonel Caswell was ordered to march 
immediately with the Minute Men under his command, and 
join other forces that might be on the same expedition to 
suppress the insurrection. The Colonels of Dobbs, Johnston, 
Craven and Pitt, were ordered to enlist as many of the mili- 
tia as was necessary and join the Minute Men under Colonel 
Caswell. The committees of Dobbs and Pitt were instructed 
to furnish Colonel Caswell as much powder and lead as they 
could. 

The battle of Moore's Creek was fought February 27th, 
1776, and was the first American victory for Independence. 
Eichard Caswell, who commanded the Minute Men and 
militia from the eastern counties mentions those from New 
Bern, Craven, Johnston, Dobbs and Wake, but says nothing 
of those from Pitt under Captain John Salter, who joined his 
army, and are next mentioned in the defense of Wilmington. 
In this battle about 1,100 Americans fought 1,G00 Tories. 
The Americans were on the south side of the creek and had 
removed the planks of the bridge. The Tories attempted to 
cross and many were killed. The Americans then forded 
the creek and attacked in the rear, making a complete vie- 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 75 

tory, killing about thirty, taking 900 prisoners, among whom 
was General McDonald, 2,000 stands of arms and £15,000 
in gold. 

The Committee for the County met February 13th, ap- 
pointed many more patrollers and attended to other matters ; 
among them the salt sent up by the District Committee was 
ordered sold in small quantities at five shillings per bushel, 
by Thomas Wolfenden, who had the power to swear any one 
whom he suspected of applying for more than their necessity 
demanded; also that he deliver Colonel Eobert Salter one 
hundred bushels for the use of the army and no salt was to be 
sold any one who had not signed the ^'Test" or did it before 
the delivery of the salt. 

The Committee was probably in session several days, but 
the next meeting of record was on the lYth. Lists of men 
drafted under the recent orders from the District Committee, 
to meet the Minute Men of Dobbs, were presented and the 
clerk was instructed to furnish to the officers of the several 
companies, the names of the delinquents that they might be 
summoned to appear at Martinborough on the second Satur- 
day in March, to show cause for their action — why they did 
not join the other troops under Lieutenant Robert Salter, 
agreeable to orders. 

The Committee adjourned to March 2d, when all the busi- 
ness seems to have been to order Daniel Fore before the Com- 
mittee to answer some expression he had made. It then ad- 
journed to the 16th, when it was ordered that the salt sent by 
the District Committee be sold in small quantities "at Pub- 
lick Vandue" on the 26th. 

The defense of New Bern being a matter of much concern 
to several of the District Committee, they held two "emer- 
gency" meetings, one on the 10th and another on the 15th, 
both of which were approved by the full Committee on the 
22d. Robert Jamison having advanced one hundred and 
twenty-five pounds, bounty money, to the Minute Men of Cap- 



/ 

76 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

tain James Armstrong's Company, the public treasurer -was 
ordered to pay it. 

At the meeting of the 23d, Arthur Moore was ordered sent 
to Halifax to answer some charges against him. Captain 
Bowers was allowed to take bond for Moore, who was then in 
jail. Major Gorham presented a petition in behalf of the 
County for the discharge of Mr. Carson, from teaching danc- 
ing. He also asked that the families of the militia and Min- 
ute Men be supplied with corn at 13s. 4:d. per barrel. Both 
l^etitions were granted. 

At the April (29th) meeting, leave to bring suits was 
granted to several and Daniel Fore appeared before the Com- 
mittee and was acquitted. 

The Provincial Congress met at Halifax, April 4th. Pitt 
sent John Simpson, Edward Salter and William Robeson. 
This was one of the most important assemblies ever held in 
jSTorth Carolina, and was held at one of the most critical 
jjeriods of our history. Many able and experienced men were 
members. 

On the 12th, the CongTCSs instructed the delegates, Wil- 
liam Hooper, Joseph Hewes and John Penn, .to concur with 
the delegates from the other colonies in declaring for Inde- 
pendence, forming alliances, and making all provisions for - 
maintaining Independence; but reserved the right to make 
its own Constitution and laws, of appointing delegates and 
adjusting its own affairs. The thanks of the Congress were 
returned to Colonel Pichard Caswell and the "brave officers 
and soldiers under his command" for their bravery and ser- 
vice rendered their country at the battle of Moore's Creek. 
James Gorham and Benjamin May were elected officials to 
receive, procure and purchase firearms and ammunition, in 
Pitt County, for the use of the troops. It was resolved to 
raise 1,500 men in the four Districts of Edenton, New Bern, ' 
Halifax and Wilmington, and of these fifty were Pitt's allot- 
ment. In the election of a Committee of Safety for the State, 
John Simpson, with James Coor, was elected for the New 
Bern District. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 77 

The meeting of the County Committee on June 29th, was 
unimportant and little was done. The meetings of July 
13th, and of August 10th, were very much like the preceding. 
Permission to sue was the principal business. And with 
these meetings the County Committee of Safety seems to 
have disappeared from our history. It was probably suc- 
ceeded by a regular and better organized and working County 
government. 



78 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



CHAPTER FOUETEEAL 



Provincial Council — Pitt Company at Wilmington — 
Officers — Returns of Men — Independence — John 
Hunter — Delegates to Halifax — More Troops — 
Equipment of Soldiers — James Salter — Enlistment 
in Other States — Justices of the Peace — Royalists 
Plot — Lack of Arms — Two Vagabond Young Men — 
Protest Against General Moore — The Assembly. 

The Provincial Cominittee, or Council, as it was now 
called, of Safety met at Wilmington, June 7th. It had much 
to do, and it did much. A considerable force had been concen- 
trated about Wilmington. It was so formidable that Gov- 
ernor Martin had seen fit to sail with the British fleet for 
Charleston. A brigade from the l^ew Bern District was 
there; one of its companies was from Pitt. The Council 
appointed John Salter, Captain; Josiah Little, Lieutenant; 
Luke Bates, Ensign for those from Pitt, The regiment was 
under the command of Brigadier-General Ashe and the re- 
turns for July 3 1st for Captain Robert Salter's Company 
were : present fit for duty, 47 men ; total officers and men, 
58; none sick, one deserted; 25 pounds of powder; 100 
pounds of lead; guns fixed, 43. 'Not another company re- 
turned any powder and lead. The regiment had 659 men; 
but only returned 447 fit for duty. 

The Provincial Council met at Halifax July 21st. On 
next day news of the Declaration of Independence by the 
Continental Congress reached the Council. The Council sim- 
ply had the Declaration read and ordered it to be proclaimed 
in the most public manner, that the people might hear the 
great and good news as early as possible. 

The prisoners who were considered the most dangerous to 
liberty were closely confined in jails. John Hunter, one 
who had been active in these matters, had been taken while on 
a cruise about Ocracoke looking for small vessels. He was 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 79 

then confined in Martinborough jail. He became tired of 
being "confined in the narrow limits of this town, deprived of 
all Company," and wrote the Council accordingly. There is 
no record of a reply. The Provincial Congress met at Hali- 
fax, ISTovember 12th. Pitt sent as its representatives, Benja- 
min May, William Robeson, James Gorham, George Evans 
and Edward Salter. Richard Caswell was made President 
and James Green, Secretary. This Congi-ess formed a Con- 
stitution, provided for a permanent government and ushered 
the Colony of ISTorth Carolina into the State of !N'orth 
Carolina. 

Provision was made for raising more troops, and among the 
ofiicers of one of the companies to be raised in the New Bern 
District were James May, Captain; James Lanier, Jr., En- 
sign ; both from Pitt. The equipments of a soldier was to 
consist of a "good gun, cartouch box, shot bag and powder 
horn, a cutlass or tomahawk" ; and when the soldier was not 
able to equip himself it was to be done at the public expense. 
Robert Salter having resigned as Commissary of the Second 
Regiment, James Salter was elected to succeed him. 

At the December meeting of the Council of Safety, the mat- 
ter of the enlisting a number of soldiers, by the Continental 
officers, who had been sent to aid South Carolina in the 
regiments of that State and Georgia, was considered. By 
this jSTorth Carolina was robbed of the bounty advanced to 
them, and of that many, in making up its quota in the Conti- 
nental Armv and discredited with the other States. Effective 
steps were taken to prevent it in the future. At this time, 
there were one, or perhaps more, companies of Pitt County 
soldiers in South Carolina, Captain James Armstrong was 
about Charleston with his Company. 

The following were appointed Justices of the Peace, by the 
Congi-ess at Halifax, for the County: John Hardee, John 
Simpson, George Moye, Lazarus Pierce, Amos Atkinson, 
Peter Reaves, John Williams, Robert Salter, Edmund Wil- 



80 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

Hams, Frederick Gibble, John Bowers, James Lanier, David 
Perkins, William Hines, James Latham, and William Travis. 

All oflQcers were required to take a strict and strong oath 
to support the Constitution and laws of the State of North 
Carolina and to abide by every act of its authorities and to 
support the war for Independence. 

Thus 17Y7 saAV a change in conditions. There was no 
royal authority; it was the State of ISTorth Carolina, with a 
State government of its own people' — -self-government in 
truth and in fact, — ^with a Governor, Richard Caswell, with 
a Council, a Legislature of two Houses, an- organized army in 
the field and county governments attending to local affairs. 

Colonel Robert Salter was at Tarboro July 3d, Avhere he 
got information that a plot had been formed in Martin and 
adjoining .counties for the purpose of aiding the Royalists, 
They were, at a concerted time, to murder all the leading men 
and thus get possession of the State. It was feared they 
might get charge of the public magazines and leave the troops 
without ammunition. About thirty made an attempt to 
carry out their plan at Tarboro, but failed. Lieutenant Col- 
onel Henry Irwin with twenty-five men captured them, dis- 
armed them and made them take the oath of allegiance. It 
was said there was hardly a county in which some men were 
not concerned in this plot. 

War was in progress over the whole country and the 
swarms of British troops continually landing in America 
made the calls for more patriot troops often and more urgent. 
Governor Caswell issued his call for drafts. In response to 
this, Colonel Simpson issued orders for a general muster of 
the militia at Martinborough. After this muster the 
militia was divided, but the trouble was the lack of arms. 
Some had sold them, some had had them impressed, and 
there were many who were unable to buy them. Colonel 
Simpson complained that such was not creditable to the ap- 
pearance of his men. By some process of war, perhaps the 
disbanding of his men or other fortune of war, Major Gorham 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUJS^TY. 81 

had become an officer without a command, and turned into 
the ranks. Colonel Simpson complained that such would be 
of no good, when there was a vacancy that he (Gorham) 
would have accepted. 

In June James Spivey and sixteen others petitioned Gov- 
ernor Caswell for some redress against the depredations of 
William Lambort and ISToah Smith White, "Two Yagobone 
young men, that Resorts our Xeighborhood Near the line of 
Pitt and Dobbs, on little Contentney, as their manner of 
living is by pilfering and Stealing of Hogs, which has been 
proved against them, & sheep, & bells, & anything they Can, 
and doing Mischief to peoples Creatures, they both have been 
Drafted Twice, & run away, & lay out first in one County and 
then in the Other, till the Companyes Macht, & then they will 
skulk about and & be at their Mischief again." It is not 
known what redress was obtained. 

In August there was a protest against the appointment of 
"a certain Doctor Hand, resident in Pennsylvania," as Briga- 
dier General of ISTorth Carolina troops, to succeed General 
Moore, deceased. The protest was signed by sixteen of the 
Field Ofticers of the North Carolina troops, then at Trenton, 
ISTew Jersey. Among those who signed was Colonel James 
Armstrong, of the Pitt Regiment. The I^orth Carolina regi- 
ments were heavy losers in the campaigns aboiit Philadel- 
phia and in ISTew Jersey. The Eighth Regiment was com- 
manded by Colonel James Armstrong. Its losses were so 
heavy that it was so reduced that the remaining men were 
transferred to the Second Regiment under Colonel John 
Patten. 

The first session of the first General Assembly of the State 
of North Carolina, was held at New Bern. It met April 7th 
and continued in session to May 9th. Pitt's representatives 
were, in the Senate, Robert Salter; in the House of Com- 
mons, William Robeson and John Williams.. Robert Salter 
was a member of the Committee on Magazine, Stores and 
Provisions. 



82 SKETCHES OF IMTT C'OIXTY, 



CHAPTER FIFTEEN. 



'No Senator — Supplies — Insolvents — Pitt's Quota — 
Sheriffs Fined — Simpson Succeeds Robeson — Fal- 
coner Succeeds Ascue — More Troops — Members of 
Assembly — Robert Salter — Robert Williams, Sur- 
geon — Field Officers — Colonel Armstrong Wounded 
— Day of Fasting — Charleston — Money^ — Continen- 
tal Army'. 



\ 



111 the AsseiiiLlj at IsTew Bern, which met April 14th, 1778, 
Pitt seems to have had no representative in the Senate, as 
none appears on the roll. William Robeson and John Wil- 
liams were aaain in the House. 

The need of supplies of clothing for the army was very 
great. The matter of furnishing it was also a problem. To 
remedy the trouble, the Assembly passed an act requiring 
each county to furnish certain such supplies. The amount 
required of Pitt was, 25 hats, 105 yards of linen, 50 yards 
of woolen or double woven cotton cloth, 50 pairs of shoes and 
50 pairs of stockings. This was repealed a little later, other 
provision having been made to secure such supplies. This 
Assembly allowed Benjamin Bowers, Sheriff of Pitt, seven 
pounds and sixteen shillings, for thirty-six insolvent taxables 
for the year 1774. An act was passed for completing the 
Continental Battalions from the State, many men still being- 
required to fill the ranks. Pitt's part of the quota necessary 
under this act was 35, the whole from the State being 2,648. 

At the May term of the District Superior Court, the sheriff 
of Pitt, and those of Beaufort, Carteret and Hyde were fined 
fifty pounds, each, for not attending the Court. 

Having been elected Entry Taker for the County, William 
Robeson resigned his seat in the House of Commons and 
John Simpson succeeded him. A little later, John Simpson 
was eleted one of the Councillors of State. 

Fii<lcr (liitc XovfMiibcr I7lh, John Sim])son wrote Gov- 



SKETCHES OF PITT COU^^TY. 83 

ernor Caswell that Lieutenant Josiah Ascue who was unable 
to go with the meij of the second draft, on account of a 
wound in his ankle, had procured a lad "to drive the cart or 
play the Fife," and wished to resign. He recommended the 
acceptance of the resigTiation and the appointment of George 
Falconer to succeed Lieutenant Ascue. The men of the sec- 
ond draft were to meet the next Monday and Lieutenant Fal- 
coner was wanted there at that time. 

Still the need was more troops. Drafting men into ser- 
vice had become an every day business in all sections. In 
November, the Continental CongTCSs asked for more troops. 
The Council advised Governor Caswell to immediately raise 
1,324 men out of the militia, which, with the 2,648 already 
raised and the addition of the new levies and regulars then on 
furloughs, would complete the 5,000 required by the Congress 
for the aid of South Carolina and Georgia. 

The Assembly met at Halifax, January 19th. 1779. The 
roll of members present at the opening showed Robert Salter 
as the Senator from Pitt, but the list of members given at the 
close of the session gives that of Edward Salter as the Sena- 
tor. John Simpson and John Williams were again in the 
House. John Simpson having been elected a member of the 
Council of Stale, resigned and James Gorham was elected in 
his stead. The Assembly recommended Robert Salter, Re- 
cruiting Officer for Pitt (the Governor's Council having ap- 
pointed him in 1777), to command the detachment of militia, 
which might be sent as an escort to the Commissioners for 
running the dividing line between Xorth Carolina and 
Virginia. 

Dr. Robert Williams was appointed Surgeon of the militia 
in IMarch. In a requisition to Governor Caswell for medi- 
cine, he was anxious for all the medicines he could get. He 
was then at Camp Liberty To^vn. 

Colonel Robert Salter, Recruiting Officer, and recom- 
mended to command the escort for the boundary Commission- 
ers, died about May, John Williams, of Surry 



84 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

County, immediately applied for the position, but the im- 
portance of getting some tobacco delivered at once to pay for 
some cannon, made Governor Caswell make the apointment 
without delay and Benjamin Hawkins got the place. 

The State Council, at its July meeting, appointed Edward 
Salter, Lieutenant Colonel, in place of George Evans, who 
declined to serve. Benjamin May was appointed First Ma- 
jor and John Enloe, Second Major, as Field Officers for the 
County. 

June 20th was fought the battle of Stono Ferry, South 
Carolina, About 1,200 Americans failed to dislodge about 
700 British, who were advantageously posted. The Ameri- 
. can. loss was something over a hundred killed and wounded, 
among them being some from Pitt. Of North Carolinians, 
ten were killed ; wounded, twenty-six. Of the wounded was 
Col. James Armstrong. In the following JSTovember he pre- 
sided over a Court of Inquiry into the conduct of Colonel 
Gideon Lamb at Brandywine, which acquitted Colonel Lamb 
"with Honor." 

William Bryan, Brigadier General for the New Bern 
District, resigned in the spring and the Assembly nominated 
William Caswell and John Simpson for the vacancy. When 
the Assembly proceeded to an election, Caswell was elected. 

At the State Council meeting at Halifax, in October, Col- 
onel Herritage presented a certificate showing that Dr. Robert 
Williams, Jr., had been appointed Surgeon to the State Regi- 
ment in March last. It was then directed that he be paid 
from that date. 

It was not a bright prospect- that presented itself to the 
Ameiicans at the beginning of 1780. Yet there were manly 
spirits and brave men who kept the fires of liberty burning 
and responded to every call for m,en and means. The cry 
was "more men." The response was always encouraging. 
In the midst of these struggles and troubles, a reliance on a 
Higher Power was not forgotten. The Continental Congress 
issued a proclamation setting apart Wednesday, April 26th, 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 85 

1780, to ''be observed as a day of fasting, humiliation and 
prayer, that we may with one heart and one voice implore the 
sovereign Lord of Heaven and earth to remember mercy in 
his judgments; to make us sincerely penitent for our trans- 
gi'essions ; to prepare us for deliverance, and to remove the 
evils which he hath been pleased to visit us ; to banish vice arid 
irreligion from amongst us, and to establish piety and virtue 
by his divine grace; to bless all public councils throughout 
the United States, giving them wisdom, firmness and una- 
nimity, and directing them to the best measures for the pub- 
lic good." It was generally observed. 

May 12th, General Lincoln surrendered Charleston to the 
British, but only after a long and gallant defense. North 
Carolina had many troops in his army. It will be remem- 
bered that after Brandywine, when Colonel James Arm- 
strong's command was so weakened that he was reduced, his 
men went into Colonel Patten's command. Colonel Patten's 
Battalion was included in the surrender of Charleston, and 
that included his Pitt County men. 

As difficult as it was to obtain recruits, the matters of 
money with which to pay them was often as great a difficulty. 
The last of May Colonel James Armstrong obtained a war- 
rant from Governor Caswell for $50,000 for the recruiting 
service. Soon thereafter he went on a recruiting expedition 
to Cross Creek. With what success he met is not told. 

By act of the Continental Congress, after January 1st, 
next (1781), the Continental Army was to consist of four 
regiments of Cavalry ; four of Artillery ; forty-nine of Infan- 
try, exclusive of Colonel Hazcn's regiment ; and one regi- 
ment of Artificers. Each regiment of Infantry should con- 
sist of nine companies, and each company should consist of 
sixty-four men, commissioned officers and privates. 



8G SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



CHAPTER SIXTEEN. 



Guilford Court-house — Pitt Militia — Joel Truss — 
Old British Eoad — British Pass Through Pitt — 
Cattle and Provisions Captured^ — Skirmishes — Men 
AND Guns at Martinborough — Troubles South of 
Pitt — Call for Troops — Prisoners in Jail — Buck's 
Barn — Leniency. 

The year 1781 did not dawn bright for the cause of liberty 
in ]^orth Carolina, and strong efforts were being made to 
raise men and money, both of which were so badly needed. 
Men from Pitt County were in the armies in South Carolina, 
in Virginia, in Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. North Caro- 
lina was being invaded by a victorious army and only a few 
of its militia, with some troops from some other States, could 
be at its front. It was a pursuit and retreat until General 
Greene faced about and turned back to fight Lord Corn- 
wallis. On the 15th of March they met at Guilford Court- 
House, and though General Greene withdrew from the field 
at the end of the fight, it was practically an American vic- 
tory. Pitt County had many militia under General Butler in 
that fight. Dr. Robert Williams was a surgeon there. 
There has been much written about how the militia run on 
that occasion. It was only a mistake in understanding 
orders. 

An interesting incident was the action of Joel Truss, of the 
Pitt Militia. He was a giant in size and strength, being 
near seven feet tall. It seems that the "running" was the 
result of an order to fall back to a certain position beyond a 
fence. Some did this, among them being Joel Truss. In 
his hurry to reach the fence, he had somehow become sepa- 
rated from his gun. Once behind the fence he found others 
likewise without guns. And, too, he was fighting mad, and 
delivered himself something like this: "Boys, just look yon- 
der what guns they have. Why, T can put my thumb in one 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 87 

and turn it all about. (His thumb was almost as large as a 
lady's wrist, and iie was alluding to some small cannon.) 
Then bursting into a volume of oaths and curs-es, he added, 

"D 'm, if they will throw down those guns and fight fair, 

I'll whip half dozen of them myself," emphasizing it with 
ominous shakings of his club-like fists. And then, with 
others, he retreated rather hurriedly. 

Lord Cornwallis retreated to Wilmington, and on April 
25th left there for Virginia. After threatening New Bern, his 
army divided and took parallel routes to Halifax. One divi- 
sion went by or near to Kinston and on through Greene 
County. That division or a detachment crossed the Moccasin 
River, below the present site of Snow Hill. The signs of an 
old road, known as the British road, may yet be seen across 
some parts of the Streeter place and the John Bynum place in 
Greene County. It crossed the Middle Swamp back of the 
Noah Joyner place and the ISToah Joyner house was built in 
that road. It can not be traced further north. But there 
was an Indian or early crossing place on Little Contentnea 
between theFarmville and Tyson bridges, in an almost direct 
line for a continuation of this old road northward, and it must 
have been where this old road crossed that creek. That de- 
tachment must have passed through the county along the 
present road to Tarboro, and on to Halifax. Another passed 
by way of Peacock's bridge, where a skirmish was had with 
400 Americans, under General Gorham,* who were routed by 
the 800 British, under Tarleton. 

There must have been some fighting in the neighborhood of 
the line between Pitt and Edgecombe in what is known as the 
Otter's Creek section. Only a few years ago some lumber- 
men found some very large pines, with balls near the hearts. 
They were shot into the trees when they were young and 
years of growth had covered them. 

Another incident of the passage of the British army is 

* This was no doubt James Gorham of Pitt, and the 400 Pitt mihtia with Governor 
Nash, at Hahfax, to meet Lord Cornwallis, must have been the same men and commanded 
by him (Gorham). 



88 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

worth recording. There were many Tories in Edgecombe, 
and when they heard of Lord Cornwallis coming, they pro- 
ceeded to collect all the cattle, hogs and general supplies they 
could for his army. ' In collecting little attention was paid 
the rights of others, but they were careful about their ovm. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Salter, getting information of 
such proceedings, marched up there with the Minute ]\Ieu 
under him and captured the entire camp and supplies, and 
the poor British had none of them. It seems that later 
other supplies were collected, but not in such quantities. 
Again they were captured. • Captain Tilman, with thirty 
horses from this county and a few from Craven went up and 
captured Benjamin Vichous, one of the ringleaders, and 
twenty-one head of cattle.* 

During his march from Wilmington an American force, 
though small, was on his rear and front. Though no battle 
was fought, he was confronted at Swift Creek and also Fish- 
ing Creek, and at Halifax there was gathering a large force. 
Governor Nash was there with 400 from Pitt, and a larger 
number from Edgecombe, and General Allen Jones with the 
militia of ISTorthampton. At each place there was some 
skirmishing without results. 

On May 26th, Colonel James Armstrong wrote General 
Sumner that there were about fifty men at Martinborough 
and about thirty guns in good order and twenty more that 
would be repaired. He was also hoping to increase both the 
number of men and that of guns. He had been reduced to 
half pay some time about the first of the year and had since 
resigned, to be recommended to be retired on half pay. 

Some British and Tories became troublesome in the country 
south of the ]^euse Kiver. General William Caswell ex- 
pected them to pass through Pitt, and in September ordered 
the entire militia of the county»to be collected and to skirmish 
towards Neuse Piver, in front of the enemy. There the 

•These expeditions may have boon one and the same. The first account is tradition 
by an aged and respeeted citizen from contemporaries of those times. The latter is from 
the State Records. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 80 

militia was to join his command. General Caswell was at 
Kingston and reported that he had heard heavy firing to the 
northward s^me days previous. If a battle or skirmish was 
fought northward of Kingston, there is no record of it. 

The Assembly, at Halifax, early in the year, made an 
urgent call for troops for the aiTny about Wilmington, which 
was still ocupied by the British. Pitt's quota for this pur- 
pose was 150. Gen. William Caswell resigned as Brigadier 
General of the jSTew Bern District and Col. James Armstrong- 
was elected to succeed him, but General Caswell was rein- 
stated. 

The war was now drawing to a close. The year 1782 was 
one of more anxiety than events, yet there were no less war 
preparations. Disaffection was still found among some peo- 
ple. Deserters and Royalists who were too active were often 
confined in the common jails. Pitt jail was often used for 
this purpose and there was a house used for the same purpose 
on Tar Piver, at what was later known as the ''Lower Taft 
Landing." It was a large house, built of hewed logs and 
known as "Buck's Barn," having been built for a barn. It 
was standing long after the Revolution. On January 14th, 
Col. James Armstrong sent Captain Mound a discharge for 
Thomas Davis, claiming that Davis had reenlisted since his 
desertion, and asked that Davis and twenty others who fled 
from the action at Guilford Court-House be sent to Halifax. 
Job Tyson, a young man, who had enlisted, after the fall of 
Charleston, for the defense of the State, accepted a parole 
from Lord Cornwallis, when he passed through. Becoming 
uneasy for his safety, he fled to South Carolina, and not 
knowing, could not avail himself of the proclamations of con- 
ditional pardon. Having never taken up arms against the 
State, when he returned many of the most prominent citizens 
of the county petitioned Governor Burke for his pardon, 
which was no doubt granted. 



90 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



CHAPTER SEVENTEEI^. 



Peace and Independence — Part of Pitt Given to Beau- 
fort — John Simpson — Negro Burned for Murder — 
Acts of the Assembly — Armstrong and Salter^ 
State Officers — Justices Resign — Part of Craven 
Given to Pitt — Armstrong^ Brigadier-General — 
Pitt Academy — Greenville — ^William Blount — 
Greenville Ferry — Simpson Paid, 

Peace, ^vitll the Independence of the United States of 
America, was concluded in February, 1783. With no for- 
eign foe to contend against, civil matters and rebuilding the 
losses of the country in so long and disastrous a war began 
to occupy the attention of the people. Pitt County had lost 
many of its good citizens, but had suifered much less than 
some other counties that were in or nearer the scenes of 
conflict. 

At this time all of Chocowinity '^JSTeck" was a part of Pitt 
County. There was no road from Washington on the south 
of the river. An act this year provided for "a ferry across 
Pamplico River at the town of Washington, and the clearing 
a road and making a causeway through the SAvamp and marsh 
opposite to the said town, into the old road the nearest and 
best way." The court of Pitt County had charge of the 
ferry and fixed the fees. 

John Simpson complained to the Assembly that he had lost 
some certificates and wanted the Assembly to make them 
good. This was refused. 

Some time about the close of the war, perhaps this year or 
the last, an awful thing was done in Pitt County. It was 
publicly burning a negro by virtue of the sentence of the 
court. Her name Avas Rose and she had murdered her mis- 
tress, being aided by another slave. The facts as learned 
about it, are that John Tyson, and Sibbey, his wife or sister, 
lived on the nortli side of Contontnea Creek, about opposite 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 91 

the W. A. Barrett place, near Farmville. They had two 
slaves, Shade and Rose. Sibbey was very cruel to them and 
treated them very badly. With the help of Shade, Rose mur- 
dered Sibbey. It was premeditated and cold-blooded. When 
it was found that Rose and Shade had committed the crime, 
they were arrested. Shade being a very valuable negro and 
only aided and abetted Rose in the crime, was sent south and 
sold. Rose was taken to jail, tried, convicted and sentenced 
to be burned at the stake, which sentence was carried out by 
the sheriff at or near the town of Martinborouo;h.* 

Among the acts of the Assembly for 1784 were those for 
cleaning out Tar River and Fishing Creek, in the counties of 
Pitt and Edgecombe, for the purpose of opening them for 
navigation; making Martinborough, Lanier's (on Tranter's 
Creek), Edward Salter's, Dupre's and Ellis's Landings (just 
above Blue Banks, now public landing), places for the inspec- 
tion of tobacco ; and the repeal of the "Cession Act"f of the 
year before. Against this many members of the House pro- 
tested, among them being John Jordan and Richard Moye, 
Pitt's representatives. It had been the custom to allow 
each member of the Assembly traveling expenses for one day 
for each county passed through in attending the sessions, but 
this session changed it to the mileage system. Colonel James 
Armstrong was elected a member of the State Council and 
Colonel Salter State tax-collector for the County. 

Benjamin May and Robert Moye resigned as Justices of 
the Peace, this year. 

One of the principal acts of 1785 relating to Pitt County 
was giving Beaufort a good part of its eastern portion. The 
act made the new line as follows : 

"Beginning at the Craven County line where it crosses 
Creeping Swamp and running with Creeping Swamp and 

* The account of this crime and its punishment is from an honored citizen, who was 
well versed in the history of his section. 

tAt the close of the Revolution the Colonial Government was badly in debt, and 
States ceded their public lands to the National Government to assist in paying those 
debts. Among them was North Carolina, which, by an act of the Assembly at Hillsboro, 
April, 1784, ceded all its lands now comprising the State of Tennessee. The National 
Government did not accept this cession at once, and the Assembly of October, 1784, at 
New Bern, repealed the Cession Act. 



92 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



Chicod Swamp to the month of Round Island Branch, 
then a direct course to the mouth of Pitch Hole Branch, 
then with the Swamp to Bear Creek, then down Bear 
Creek to Tar River, then down the River on the north 
side to the mouth of Tranter's Creek, then up said Creek to 
Martin County line, then with Martin, Beaufort and Craven 
lines to the beginning," all the territory there-in being added 
to and made a part of Beaufort County. 



'^ CO 




PITT COUNTY, AFTER CESSION TO BEAFORT 1785— FROM CRAVEN 1786. 
From pen sketch by II. T. K., 1910. 

Richard Evans died without making title to many of the 
lots, sold by the. lottery in Martinborough, and the Martin- 
borough act was amended for the purpose of having the titles 
made. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 93 

I 

The Assembly also elected Colonel James Armstrong 
Brigadier General for the New Bern District. 

The two most important events of 1786 to Pitt were, the 
incorporation of the Pitt Academy, to be established at Mar- 
tiuborough. (It had as trustees, some of the most prominent 
men of the State. They were Governor Eichard Caswell, 
Hugh Williamson, William Blount, John Simpson, James 
Armstrong, James Gorham, John Hawkes, John Williams, 
Robert Williams, Arthur Forbes, Benjamin May, John May 
and Reading Blount) ; and the annexing a part of Craven 
to Pitt, making the new line as follows : 

"Beginning at the Pitt line where Creeping Swamp inter- 
sects the same, thence down the run or middle of the Clay 
Root Swamp to the run of Swift's Creek Swamp, thence up 
the run of the same to Isaac Gardner's Ford, or path across 
the same, thence a direct line to the lower landing on Grindal 
Creek, which is in about half a mile of said Creek, thence 
down the said Grindal Creek to the River ISTeuse, thence up 
the meanders of the River j^euse to the mouth of Great 
Contentney Creek, thence up the said Creek to the mouth of 
Little Contentney Creek, thence up the same to the line of 
the County of Pitt, be and the same is hereby annexed to 
Pitt." Within this territory is very nearly all of Swift 
Creek township, and • the lower parts of Chicod and 
Contentnea. 

The same act that incorporated Pitt Academy changed the 
name of Martinborough to that of ''Greenesville," said to 
have been in honor of General jSTathaniel Greene, the hero of 
Guilford Court-House. 

Nathaniel Greene was born in Rhode Island in 1742. He 
entered the army in 1774; was made a Brigadier General in 
1775 and a Major General in 1776. In 1780 he was ap- 
pointed to succeed Benedict Arnold in command at West 
Point and a short time thereafter appointed to the command 
of the armies of the South to succeed General Gates. After 



94 SKETCHES or PITT COUNTY. 

a series of marches and masterly maneuvres, he fought the 
Battle of Guilford Court-IIouse, March 15th, 1781, having a 
force of 4,400, much of it being raw militia, with Lord Corn- 
wallis, who had a veteran force of 2,200 and practically won 
a notable victory that led up to Lord Cornwallis's defeat at 
Yorktowii. He then began a brilliant and successful cam- 
paign in South Carolina, and after the war was over returned 
to Rhode Island. He soon moved to Georgia, where he died 
in 1786. 

In the territory annexed from Craven lived William 
Blount, who had been a member of the Continental Congress 
since 1782, and several times a member of the Assembly. He 
had landed interests in what is now Tennessee, and being 
charged with purchasing land from the Indians contrary to 
custom, he made a denial of the same to Governor Caswell by 
letter. He was a member of the Continental Congress for 
1787 and in the Assembly from Pitt, in the Senate, in 1789. 

A free ferry was established at Greenville in 1787 by the 
Assembly, and a small tax provided for its maintenance. It 
is supposed to have been about where the bridge now stands. 

The Assembly this year settled with John Simpson a 
matter which had been standing since 1781. He had turned 
his vouchers over to the Auditors, who lost them, and it took 
all that long time to get the matter adjusted and to find that 
the State was indebted to him. He had never received part 
of his pay as a member of the Assembly of 1782. 

The delegates of the several States having framed a Con- 
stitution, it was read, and considered some time in December, 
but not adopted at this session. 



SKETCilES OF PITT COUNTY. 95 



CHAPTER EIGIITEEX, 



Constitution ^Rejected — Motions and Vote Thereon 
— Location of Capital — Constitution Adopted — 
Amendments Recommended — The University — For- 
eign State — ISTew Court-house — John Simpson Dead 
— Bounties for Manufactures — Pitt Iron Mines — 
Pitt in the Revolution — Governor Caswell^s Opin- 
ion. 

The Convention for considering the Federal Constitution, 
as proposed by the Continental Convention at Philadelphia, 
met at Hillsboro, July 21st, 1788. Pitt sent Sterling Du- 
pree, Robert Williams, Richard Moye, Arthur Forbes and 
David Perkins. All but David Perkins were present on the 
opening day. He did not get there till August 1st. 

The report of the Committee of the Whole said that a 
Declaration of Rights, together with amendments, ought to 
be laid before Congress and a Convention of the States, be- 
fore i^orth Carolina should ratify the Constitution. 

James Iredell, seconded by John Skinner, moved the adop- 
tion of the Constitution and recommended six amendments. 
This was lost by a vote of 84 yeas to 184 nays. Pitt's dele- 
gates, except David Perkins, who voted yea, voted no. Then 
the Report of the Committee of the Whole was adopted by a 
vote of 184 to 83, Pitt's delegates voting as on first question. 
This Convention selected the farm of Isaac Hunter, in Wake 
County, or any place within ten miles thereof, as the location 
for establishing the State Capital. 

The year 1789 was notable for two important and long 
steps in progress by "JSTorth Carolina. They were the adop- 
tion of the Federal Constitution and the establishment of the 
University. 

The Convention that adopted the Constitution, met at Fay- 
etteville, in l^ovember. In it were many of the men who 
had been members of the Hillsborough Convention the year 



9G SKETCHES OF TTTT COUNTY. 

before, which rejected the same Constitution. Pitt's dele- 
gates were William Blount, Shadrach Allen, James Arm- 
strong, Samuel Simpson and James Bell, all of whom were 
present at the opening. On the fifth day a resolution, re- 
jecting the Constitution until certain amendments were 
added, was lost bj a vote of 82 to 187, all of Pitt's delegates 
voting against it. The question was then on the adoption of 
it. It passed by a vote of 195 to 17, Pitt's delegates voting 
for it. 

Thus jSTorth Carolina became the twelfth member of the 
United States of America — the American Union. And it 
was unanimously recommended that its representatives in 
Congress endeavor to obtain the adoption of the amend- 
ments recommended by this Convention. 

The Assembly passed the act for establishing the Uni- 
versity. It provided all the machinery for its establishment, 
and among its trustees was William Blount. The University 
was not opened for the reception of students until 1795. 

During the period between the rejection of the constitu- 
tion by the Convention at Hillsboro, in August, 1788, and its 
adoption by the Convention at Fayetteville, in ijJ'ovember, 
1789, ISForth Carolina was referred to by the papers and in 
many other ways as a "Foreign State." The new government 
had been organized and put into effect with the inauguration 
of George Washington, April 30th, 1789. 

Another act of 1789 was that for the building of a court- 
house, prison and stocks at Greenville, and for keeping the 
same in repair, for which a tax of not exceeding eight pence 
on every hundred acres of land and not exceeding two shill- 
ings, "like money," on every taxable person, and a tax of two 
shillings oii every hundred pounds value of town property in 
said county, was laid. James Armstrong, Shadrach Allen, 
John Move, Arthur Forbes, Samuel Simpson, Benjamin Bell 
and William Blount were appointed the commissioners to 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 97 

have charge of the money raised for this purpose, have the 
building erected and sell the old court-house and prison. 

Samuel Simpson, member of the Fayetteville Convention, 
was a son of John Simpson. John Simpson died March 1st, 
1788, lacking seven days of being sixty years old. He had 
figured very prominently in Pitt's affairs and also in those of 
the Colony and State. He had filled almost every office, from 
Justice of the Peace to Councillor of State in civil affairs, 
and from private to Brigadier General of Militia, in military 
affairs. He had offered his services to the Royal Governor 
when he heard that Regulators were marching to Xew Bern 
to prevent Fanning from taking a seat in the Colonial As- 
sembly ; and he was among the first to make open resistance 
to that same authority when the rights of his people were in 
jeopardy. He was a great and useful man, and had not 
death claimed him so earlv he would have reached higher and 
greater honors in the State and nation. 

At the beginning of the Revolution, bounties were offered 
for manufacturing enterprises that would supply the neces- 
sities for domestic use and materials for war. Iron foundries 
were badly needed. Iron ore was not so plentiful as now and 
many mines were worked that have long since been abandoned 
as not paying. It is said that some ore from Pitt was used 
during the war for manufacturing various articles. In several 
places in Chicod Township, an ore, containing iron is foun*!, 
though not in large quantities. In fact the ore is poor^ but it 
is said it sufficed for many purposes in those times. Another 
bed of the same quality of ore is on Tranter's Creek, in Pac- 
tolus township. This is some better than that of Chicod. 
Both were no doubt used in those days. 

The people of Pitt were true patriots, and there is no rec- 
ord of any Tories being found in it at any time, except Tison 
and one or two others, unless some were included in the plot 
of 1777, which ended with the capture of thirty by Colonel 
Henrv Irwin, at Tarboro. If aiiv were concerned in it, it is 
yet to be learned. . In 1765, there were 750 taxable men in 
7 



98 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

the county; in 1790, there were 1,461; so there must have 
been about 1,100 in 1776. From these numbers there must 
have been near 1,000 who enlisted and fought in the war. Be- 
fore specifying any quota, four companies had been formed. 
The first Avas under the call of August, 1774. Then James 
Armstrong and George Evans were authorized to raise a coiii- 
pany each. There was one or more under Robert Salter that 
joined Colonel Caswell on the march to Moore's Creek, and 
next are heard of at Wilmington. Then followed calls for 
Pitt's quota for the Continental Army, those calls being for 
50, 35, 50 and 150 men, respectively. It is not doubted that 
they were promptly furnished. Then there were 400 with 
Governor JSTash at Halifax, in 1781. All of which shows 
that Pitt County did its full duty in those days ''that tried 
men's souls." In 1786, Governor Caswell, in having the 
militia organized, issued commissions for four field officers 
and thirty-six for captains, lieutenants and ensigns of twelve 
companies. At that time there was some dissatisfaction about 
military matters in the county, and in deprecating it he said, 
"and am much concerned about the Pitt militia, which I al- 
ways considered as equal, at least, to any in the State." The 
record of Pitt in the Revolution is one to be proud of. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. Ot) 



CHAPTER XIXETEEA^ 



ToKY Pardons — Vote on the Capital Bill — William 
Blount — First Census — Washington's Tour — Im- 
pressions IN Pitt — Old People — James Armstrong 
Dead — Second Census — Peace and Progress — 
Schools and Houses — Mail Facilities — ]\Iodes ok 
Conveyance— Good Old Times. 

North Carolina was now a part of that new nation born of 
blood and sacrifices. With 1790 came an era that promised 
peace and prosperity. The Assembly passed acts of pardon 
for many offenses committed during the past, especially those 
of the long war for Independence. Among the beneficiaries of 
those acts were a number of the inhabitants of Pitt, Martin 
and Edgecombe, but it is to be doubted if many were from 
Pitt ; if so, thev were livino- on the borders alono; the Martin 
and Edgecombe lines. 

The bill for establishing the capital as recommended by the 
convention passed the House by a. vote of 52 to 51. It was a 
tie and the Speaker voted for it, thus giving it one majority. 
Shadrach Allen and Samuel Simpson were Pitt's representa- 
tives in that branch, and they both voted for the bill. 

William Blount was in the Senate from Pitt in 1Y89, and 
at the time of the meeting of the Assembly was west of the 
mountains, being engaged in some affairs connected with the 
Indians. Returning for the meeting of the Assembly, he 
charged mileage from there. The clerk refused to allow it 
and the Assembly of this year (1790) complimented him on 
his action in so doing. Therefore Mr. Blount only received 
niileao'e from Pitt. 

This year the first JSFational Census was taken. The na- 
tion then had only 3,929,214 population; North Carolina. 
393,751; Pitt County, 8,275. Pitt's population is thus 
given: Males over 16 years of age, 1,461; males under 16, 



100 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

1,507 ; females, 2,915 ; total whites, 5,883 ; slaves, 2,3G7 ; all 
others, 25 ; grand total, 8,275. 

Having previously made a tour of the New England States, 
in March 1791 President Washington started on a Southern 
tour. He came by way of Petersburg, Virginia, and his first 
stop in North Carolina was at Halifax, where he spent the 
night. 

His route took him through Pitt and the following is found 
in his diary, relating to that part of his tour : 



'!-i 



"^TUESDAY;, APRIL 19 Til. 

''At 6 o'clock I left Tarborough, accompanied by some of 
the most respectable people of the place for a few miles- 
dined at a trifling place called Greenville, 25 miles distant— 
and lodged at one Allan's,* 14 miles further, a very indiffer- 
ent house without stabling which for the first time since I 
commenced my -Tourney were obliged to stand without a 
cover. , 

"Greenville is on Tar River and the exports the same as 
from Tarborough with a greater proportion of Tar — for the 
lower dovm the greater number of Tar makers are there— - 
this article is contrary to all ideas one would entertain on the 
subject, rolled as Tobacco by an axis which goes through both 
heads — one horse draws two barrells in this manner. 

'^^ WEDNESDAY', APRIL 20. 

* 

"Left Allan's before breakfast and under a misapprehension 
went to a Colonel Allan's, supposing it to be a public house; 
where we were kindly and well entertained without knowing 

•Thia was Shadrach Allen, and his place was known as Crown Point. It was just 
south of Turkey Cock Swamp, and there are no remains of buildings now there. It was 
also the place of the first Masonic Lodge in North Carolina. The Colonel Allen, with 
whom he got breakfast, was Colonel John Allen, brother to Shadrach. and lived near Pitch 
Kettle, in Craven County. Arriving at Col John Allen's, and thinking it a public house 
or inn. President Washington asked if he could get breakfast. Mrs. Allen said she would 
have to see. Col. Allen. Finding that the man who wanted breakfast was President 
Washington, a big breakfast was prepared. A pig, chicken, turkey and other things were 
upon the table. President Washington ate only some eggs and drank some rum, touching 
nothing else. Either here or at Col. Shade AUen'.s, there was a young girl to whom Presi- 
dent Washington became attracted, took her to New Bern with him and to the ball in his 
honor at the palace that night. At New Bern he wa.= entertained and slept in the hou.se 
on Middle street, now owned and occupied by James A. Bryan. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 101 

it was at his expense, until it was too late to rectify the mis- 
take. After breakfasting and feeding our horses here, we 
proceeded on and crossed the River JSTeuse 11 miles further, 
arrived in ISTewbern to dinner. At this ferry which is 10 
miles from Newbern, we were met by a small party of Horse ; 
the district Judge (Mr. Sitgreaves*) and many of the prin- 
cipal Inhabitants of Newbern, who conducted us into town 
to exceeding good lodgings. 

"It ought to have been mentioned that another small party 
of Horse under one Simpsonf met us at Greenville, and in 
spite of every endeavor which could comport with decent 
civility to excu?e myself from it, they would attend me to 
Xewbern. Colonel Allen did the same." 

The houFC in which he is said to have dined in Greenville 
is still standing and known as the Dr. Dick Williams house, 
now occupied by his children. On the weatherboarding near 
the front door can yet be seen some marks, which are what 
time has left of President Washington's name, said to have 
been written by him on that occasion. But a very highly 
respected citizen of Greenville, who died only a few years 
ae'o, told this writer that the Williams house was not the 
house which he had been told was the house at which Presi- 
dent Washington dined, but that it was a house long since 
removed, that stood about where the southern end of the old 
Macon House now stands. This gentleman also stated that 
Dr. Robert Williams, then one of the most prominent men 
in the count}^ and who lived very near the road by which 
President Washington came from Tarboro, afterwards said 
he never heard of the President's visit until years after and 
doubted the truth of the statement that such a visit was 
made. 

That Pitt was a good county in which to live, and that its 
people lived well and long, is shown by the fact that in 171) I 
there were then living in the county, William Taylor 114 



• John Sitgreaves, Judge of the United States District Court. 

t Samuel Simpson was ordered to escort President Washington from Greenville to New 
Bern, by Thomas Blount, and this was in all probability the Simpson alluded to. 



102 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

years old; Lancelot James and John Banks, each over 100 
years old; and William Howard, 108 years old. William 
Howard was a native of Ocracocke Island, but had lived on 
the hanks of Tar River 91 j^ears. 

Some time about 1794 or 1795, James Armstrong died. 
He had been a soldier of the Revolution and had filled every 
position from private to Brigadier General. He had been 
an officer of the militia, and when his country called for men 
to resist oppression, he was one of the first to respond. 

The Census of 1800 showed that Pitt County had a popu- 
lation of 9,084, all told, being an increase of 809, or about 
ten per cent in ten years. 

This was an era of peace and progress. The ISTational Gov- 
ernment was no longer an experiment, there were no interna- 
tional complications to disturb the people and the Indian 
wars had become of no great importance. Internal affairs 
were uppermost and the rush of people to the new Nation, 
promised to make a great ]^ation of many people. Conditions 
then existing in the State applied to Pitt County. It might 
be called a primitive age, an age of simplicity. At this time 
there was not a public school in the State. The great mass of 
the people could neither read nor write, education being the 
accomplishment of the few and wealthy. There were few 
private schools. The school house was built of logs, with a 
dirt chimney; a log was sawed out at one side for a window ; 
the seats were made of split logs, the split side being somewhat 
smoothed and su])ported on round legs driven in holes bored in 
the under side, and such seats had no backs; a shelf built to 
one side of the house answered for a desk for writing, the 
pupil sitting on one of the benches ; the floor was of rough- 
hewn timber, with many and large holes that let in the cold 
in winter. The teacher was held in little esteem and was 
practically a servant and nurse for the smaller children. The 
teacher was generally a woman, practically imported from 
N^ew England, and generally ended her career in the school 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 108 

room by marrying the son of the house and causing a row in 
the family. The teacher's pay was a pittance. 

There was little letter writing. Postage was not less than 
twenty-five cents on each letter, and it took weeks and some- 
times months to get a reply where now it is only a question of 
a day or two. Comforts were few and simple. There were no 
stoves, no coal, no gas, no matches. The fire in the great fire- 
place, pine torches and tallow candles were the producers of 
heat and light on all occasions. 

There were few vehicles of any kind ; the roads were very 
bad and often impassable. Everybody rode horseback, and 
sometimes a family of four were mounted on one horse. Al- 
most every woman could spin, weave, knit, sew, cut and make 
all the wearing apparel for the household. There was little 
money in circulation. Hogs, cattle and turkeys were driven 
to the markets of Virginia. Tobacco was rolled to market in 
hogsheads, an axle being put through the hogshead and shafts 
being attached. 

Courts were jolly times. Drinking, fighting, gambling and 
their attendant vices, were its prominent features. Drunken- 
ness was a common vice from which the preachers were not 
always exempt. Lotteries for raising money for churches, 
schools and the disposal of town lots, were licensed by law. 
The whole population practically lived in the country and 
knew nothing of the attractions of towns and cities. Swift 
justice was often visited upon the criminal. The life of those 
times meant health and strength. It was a lot of hardy, 
honest men and women, who seemed to believe in hanging as 
all or most punishment for the present, a brimstone hell for 
future punishment and calomel for all the ills of the present 
life. 



104 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



CHAPTER TWENTY. 



Third Census — Yankee Hall — Second War With Eng- 
land — Two Pitt Companies at Beacon Island — Their 
Pay-roll — Eetreat and Amusing Incident — Fourth 
Census — Occupations — Bridge at Greenville — 
Greenville Academies — Fifth Census — John Joynek. 

The Census of 1810 showed little increase of Pitt's popula- 
tion from 1800, it being only 85, the total being 9,1G1). 

About this time some I^ew England tradesmen settled on 
Tar River at Yankee Hall, and it soon became a center of 
business for much of the country to the north thereof. 

There is little record of the men of Pitt in the second war 
with England. North Carolina being far removed from the 
main seats of the war, perhaps not so many of her men took 
part, and of those who did, their history is lost in that of 
others. North Carolina was invaded in 1813 and in response 
to Governor Hawkins' call for troops, two companies from 
Pitt, about 125 men and officers, were enlisted. 

Of one company, George Eason was Captain ; Sumner Ad- 
ams, Lieutenant ; Samuel Albritton, Ensign ; John Allen, 
Peter Adams, Josiah Daniel, Moses Hatton, Sergeants; 
Thomas Adams, Levin Hall, Samuel Johnston, George Knox, 
Corporals. Of the second, Samuel Vines was Captain ; Isaac 
Dovnis, Lieutenant; William Rountree, Ensign; Benjamin 
Bell, Elias Carr, Willie Clements, Sergeants; Benjamin 
Johnston, Levy Pearscen, Nathaniel Pettit, Moses Turnage, 
Corporals. 

The field officers were. Hardy Smith, Brigadier General ; 
Howell Cobb, Lieutenant Colonel Commander ; William 
Pugh, Second Major. 

The privates were, of Captain Eason's Company: Ambrose 
Arnold, Watson W. Anderson, Levin Adams, William W. An- 
drews, John Baldwin, ]\Iilos Uiitlon, Noah Buck, Williani 
Bryan, Noah Beddard, Henry Barnhill, Jonathan Briley, 



SKETCHES OF JMTT COUNTY. 



105 



William Brooks, Reading- Bell, Stephen Careney, Willie Bell, 
William Cammel, Charles Crisp, William Crawford, William 
Downs, Jesse Dudley, Frederick Dinkins, William Elk-, 
Henry Fulford, Stephen Fulford, Reuben Flake, William 
Galloway, William Highsmith, Thomas Holliday, Matthew 
James, Geo];ge Killebrew, William Little, Benjamin Leggett, 
Josiah Mills, William IManning, Allen Moore, Asia Moore, 




OLD BIUCKELL CANNON 



One of the cannons with which Joseph Brickell armed his trading vessels about 1797 
for defense against French encroachments on American commerce. Brickell 
lived at Greenville and this cannon in now in the cemetery. 

While being used to celebrate the election of John Spiers to the legislature in 1836, a 
premature discharge killed two negroes and injured several other people. 

William Moore, Xoah Magowns, William Mitchel, Samuel 
Nobles, Alfred Xelson, William J. Parkston, James Robert- 
son, Reuben Rollins, Richard Eaton Rivers, Henry Smith, 
Luther Spain, Benjamin Shivers, John Tison, Jacob Turner, 
Isaac 'Turner, William Teal, Willoughby Whitehurst, Gari- 
son Williams, Solomon Whichard, Calven Herrington. 



106 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

The privates of Captain Vines' Company were: Eichard 
Albritton, William Albritton, Samuel Allen, Robert Barr, 
Abednego Brilev, Nathan Brady, Benjamin Briley, Aaron 
Cox, William Edwards, Thomas Flanac^an, John Fowler, 
Jordan Fnlford, An cos Garriss, David HattoAvay, Harry 
Hadison, Joseph English, Isaac Joiner, William Lang, John 
Little, Dread Little, William Moore, Thomas Mills, John 
Moye, Abrahamx Mills, Simpson Meeks, Benjamin Nobles, 
James Pearce, Turner Pollard, John Pope, William Peebles, 
Jr., Isaac Parker, Henry Rodgers, Richard Shingieton, Ben- 
jamin Smith, Jethro Sermon, Arden Tucker, Harman Wals- 
ton, Benjamin Ward, Burrel White, John Wilson. 

These two companies were a part of the garrison of Beacon 
Island, in Pamlico Sound, at Ocracoke Inlet. It was for the 
defense of the inlet and Portsmouth ; but when the British 
fleet appeared, the entire garrison abandoned its post and 
fled in boats for the mainland, arriving there safely. The 
British were too many for them and flight was their only 
safety. After plundering Portsmouth, taking all the cattle, 
hogs and provisions to be found, the British sailed away. 
There was another company at Beacon Island, under Cap- 
tain Sadler. It seems to have been there later and to have 
garrisoned the Island after the others left. It was also from 
Pitt County. 

It seems these companies were not prepared for defense, 
but were doing a picket service. On each projecting head- 
land on to Washington, were signal corps, with a barrel of 
rosin, bottle of spirits of turpentine, ball of oakum and a 
flint and steel for striking fire. On the ap])roach of the Brit- 
ish fleet, these signal corps were to successively light their sig- 
nals. And it is said that within two hours after the appear- 
ance of the fleet, the signal had reached Washington and the 
long roll was beaten for assembling the militia. The militia 
assembled and was led l)y C^a])taiii Mallison to an old en- 
trenchment 11 little ciisj of the toAvn. ("iillin"' to his men to 



SKETCHES OP^ PITT COLWTY. 107 

follow and be ready to defend their country, Captain ]\[alli- 
son leaped into the entrenchments. • He landed on the head 
of a lonj^-horned cow and, grabbing a horn Avith each hand, he 
thought the British had him and that he was between two 
bayonets ; so he hastened to yell, ''I surrender." 

The use of the sigTials were to be by night, the fire, and by 
day, the smoke. (The cow incident is not vouched for, but 
came of good authority.) 

The Greenville Academy was incorporated in 1814. 

Yankee Hall must have become an important point of 
business on the river and also to have done a good shipping 
business. In 1816 two sea-going ships were built there. 

The census of 1820 showed good growth in population for 
Pitt. The population was 10,001, as follows: 

Whites, under 16 years of age — males, 1,368; females, 
1,320. 

Whites, between 16 and 45 ; males, 1,143 ; females, 1,163. 

Whites, over 45, males, 353 ; females, 384. 

Total whites, males, 2,864; females, 2,867. 

Total, both sexes, 5,731. 

Slaves— males, 2,213; females, 2,028. 

Free negroes — males, 18 ; females, 11. 

Total, 29. 

Summary — Whites, 5,731. "^ 
Slaves, 4,241. 
Free negroes, 29. 
Total, 10,001. 

The county had no incorporated town and the population 
of Greenville was not given. 

Those given as engaged in the various occupations were: 
Agi'iculture, 3,205; Commerce, 25; Manufacturers, 61; to- 
tal, 3,291. 

Sometime in the twenties, very probably the latter, a bridge 
was bnilt over Tar River at Greenville, and the old ferry, 
so long in use, discontinued. In 1828 land was bought from 



108 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

John Cherry, about five miles southeast of Greenville, and a 
poor-house or County Home established. 

The Greenville Female Academy was chartered in 1830. 
The incorporators were Gen. W. Clark, Archibald Parker, 
John. C. Gorham, Eichard Evans, and Absalom Saunders. 

The Census of 1830 showed a good increase in Pitt's popu- 
lation, it being 12,093, an increase of 2,092 over that of ten 
years before. 

From the schools chartered, a spirit of education must have' 
come over the people about this time, and several academies 
were chartered. Clemmons's Academy was chartered in. 1831, 
with Willie Gurganus, Thomas E. Chance, Edmund Andrews 
and William Clemmons, Trustees. Contentnea Academy 
was incorporated the same year with Moses Turnage, Lewis 
Turnage, Abram Baker, Elbert Moye, William D. Moye and 
Alfred Moye, Trustees. Jordan Plain Academy was incor- 
porated the next year with Hugh Telfair, Thomas Jordan, 
Valentine Jordan, Benjamin F. Eborn, James Little and 
Churchill Perkins, Trustees. While this looks like educa- 
tional progress, yet it seems that the people were not yet ready 
for or in favor of general education, for it is said that John 
fFoyner, one of the prominent men of the county and several 
times a member of the- legislature, was "turned out of" his 
church for sending one of l^s boys, ISToah, off to college. 

These schools seem to have passed out of the memory of 
those living. Clemmons's was in Carolina, near the ]\Iartin 
line. Contentnea was near the Moye Cross Roads, being on 
the road to Farmville, a little north of A. P. Turnage's pres- 
ent home, but not so far as the late Moye school house. Jor- 
dan Plains was about two miles north of Pactolns, on the 
Williamston road. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. lO'J 



CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE. 



Steamboats — Constitutional Convention of 1835 — 
Delegates — Important Votes — Baptist State Con- 
vention — Greenville Gazette — Presidential Elec- 
tion — Loss in Population — Flat Boats — Dk. Wil- 
liams Dead — Harris and Yellowly Duel — Harris 
Killed — Academy Incorporated. 

The first steamboats appeared on Tar River in the early 
thirties, but as business ventures were failures. 

The year 1830 was the year of the organization of the 
North Carolina Baptist State Convention. It took place in 
Greenville, a few prominent members of that church meet- 
ing in what is now known as the Ricks House and organiz- 
ing with Patrick Dowd, President, and Samuel Wait, Corres- 
ponding Secretary, 

To the Constitutional Convention of 1835 Pitt sent Dr. 
Robert Williams and John Joyner. They were both good 
representatives, but little given to speech-making. Both 
voted for biennial sessions of the legislature ; for giving 
Edenton, New Bern, Wilmington and Fayetteville, Borough 
representation in the legislature ; and against the election of 
the governor by the popular vote of the people, and giving 
the free negroes the right to vote. On the question of substi- 
tuting the word "Christian" for the word "Protestant" in 
the thirty-second Article of the Constitution, Williams voted 
for and Joyner against. On the question of a property 
qualification for negi'oes for voting, Williams voted against it 
and Joyner for it. The Constitution proved to be very un- 
popular with the East and not one Eastern county voted for 
its ratification. Pitt voted thirty-two for, to seven hundred 
and ten against it. This was about the way the other Eastern 
counties voted, but the Western counties voted as solidly for 
it and it was ratified by a majority of 5,165. 



110 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

Before this Constitution was adopted, Catholics veere for- 
bidden to hold office, though public sentiment had never al- 
lowed its enforcement. William Gaston, a Catholic, was a 
member of this Convention and had held many offices and 
onlv the vear before had been elected a Judsre of the Su- 
jireme Court. If the law had been strictly enforced he would 
have been barred. 

About this IJme, too, was published the first newspaper 
ever published in Greenville or the county. It was the 
Greenville Gazette, published by John Brown, known as 
"Printer Brown." It was a small paper and did not long 
exist. The town was too small to support even a sm^ll 
paper. 

In the Presidential election in 1S40, William Henry Har- 
rison. Whig, received 627 votes and Martin Van Buren, Loco 
Foco, 301 in Pitt. 

The county seems to have gone backwards between 1S30 
and 1840 in some wav, for the Census of the latter vear 
showed a population of only 11,806, a less of 287 in ten 
years. 

The year 1842 is remembered as the year of a great tluod. 
Some old people claim it the largest flood and rise in the river 
ever known. 

It seems there was not enough business on the river in 
those days to make steamboats profitable, and they gave way 
to float boats. Though they were slow they did a profitable 
business and were long on the river, even after stearaboat- 
ing began. 

October first, 1847, H. F. Harris, a member of the legisla- 
ture, fell in a duel with E. C. Yellowlv. Both were voun2: 
lawyers of the Greenville bar. They were close friends, 
rivals at the bar and also for the firaces of an onlv daufrht^r 
of a wealthy planter. A case in court caused the first difii- 
culty. Harris had the first speech to the jury and severely 
criticised the management of the case by Tellowly. In his 
reply, Yellowlv more severely criticised Harris. After court, 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. Ill 

Harris made an attack on Yellowly. Friends prevented 
anything serious then. Harris challenged Yellowly to meut 
him on the field of honor, which challenge was acepted. How- 
ever, both were arrested and put under heavy honds to keep 
the peace one year. On the day the bond was out Harris re- 
newed the challenge, which was again accepted. 

On October first, 1847, they met on the Xorth Carolina and 
Virginia State line, on the Dismal Swamp Canal, about four 
miles from the "Half-wav House." Before fiahtins:, Yel- 
lowdy sent his second to see if the duel could then be stopped. 
Harris was obstinate and demanded that the duel proceed. 
Til the first shot, Harris's shot went wild, and Yellowlv fired 
up into the air. Again Yellowly attempted a reconciliation, 
but Harris said he went there for blood and would have it be- 
fore he left. Tn the second shot Harris's shot again went 
wild. This time Yellowly's shot went true and Harris fell, 
pierced by the ball, nearly in the center of his forehead, a 
little over the riffht eve. Seeinsr Harris fall, Yellowlv said to 
his second, '"Go to him for God's sake, for I don't want to kill 
him." Harris was dead w^hen the second reached him. Yel- 
lowly and his party left at once, but was arrested in Virginia, 
though the magistrate did not hold him.* 

*XoTE. — .T. E. Wilkins, an eye-witness to part of the duel, gave this 
writer the following account of the affair. He said: "I was a small 
boy on a visit to my uncle, William Wallace, who lived at Culpepper 
Locks, on the Dismal Swamp Canal, in Virginia. I was in possession of 
my first gun and with a crowd of boys, some larger, my cousin, W. T. 
Wallace, son of my uncle, being in the crowd. Returning home, we came 
up the east bank of the canal and ahead of us saw two carriages and 
several men, walking about mixed up. A man came running meeting 
us, stopped us and told us to remain where we were. We were then 
about one hundred yards from the men and carriages. Soon there were 
pistol shots and again the men were busy getting about. Soon there 
were other pistol shots and again the men stirred about. A tall, small 
man and two or three others got into the carriage and drove off. The 
boys were much excited, and passing on up the canal bank by where 
the shooting had taken place, they saw a man lying next the woods on 
the bank, with a red handkerchief over his face. The boys went on to 



112 SKETCJIK.s oi-- I'l'J'T COUNTY. 

Both Harris and Yellowly were brave, fearless men. Har- 
ris was an expert with the pistol. Both had practiced for 
the occasion, though Yellowly did not want to fight. Dr. W. 
J. Blow was Yellowly's second, and also surgeon to both. 

The steamboat ''Amidas" was built and placed on Tar 
River in 1841) bv John Meyers and Sons, of Washington, 
and became a paying enterprise. 

The Midway Male and Female Academy was incorporated 
this year, with Churchill Perkins, Henry T. Toole, William 
Grimes, Godfrey Langley, Benjamin Daniel, Valentine S. 
Jordan and l^avid Lanelev, as trustees. This school was at 
or near Pactolus. 



William Wallace's and told that a man had been killed on the canal 
bank and gave particulars. William Wallace was a magistrate. A war- 
rant was issued and the party in the carriage containing the tall, small 
man were arrested at Deep Creek and had a hearing before three magis- 
trates. After the hearing all the parties signed the paper and were 
released and left. The trial was held in the little inn at Deep Creek, 
kept by Major Sam Foreman. The body of the dead man was taken to 
Deep Creek and a coffin got from a wheelwright who kept them." 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 113 



CITAPTEK TWENTY-TWO. 



Plank Egad — Seventh Census — Plank Road Stock- 
holders Organized — Cold Spring — Court-house 
Burned — Great Loss — Common Schools and Progress 
— County Superintendent — Apportionment — Jour- 
nal OF Education — Very Old Man. 

The legislature of 1850 chartered the Greenville and Ra- 
leigh plank road. A provision in the charter provided that 
any white person who should travel on the road after built, 
should pay a fine of five dollars, unless the proper tolls had 
been paid. If a slave should be the offender, the penalty was 
not more than twenty lashes. 

The census of this year gave Pitt County 13,397 popula- 
tion, divided as follows: Whites, 6,677; slaves, 6,633; free 
negroes, 87. The vote for Governor was, David S. Reid, 
Democrat, 583; Charles Manly, Whig, 591. 

On the 20th of February, 1851, the stockholders of the 
Greenville and Raleigh plank road, met in Greenville and or- 
ganized. Benjamin F. Hanks, of Washington, was made 
chairman, and John A. Selby, of Greenville, secretary. John 
Meyers, E. J. Warren, Gould Hoyt and F. B. Satterthwaite 
were appointed a committee to see how much stock was rep- 
resented. R. L. Meyers, E. J. Warren, F. B. Satterthwaite 
and W. J. Blow were appointed a committee to draft a set of 
by-laws. The following shares were reported represented : 
Raleigh, 30 shares; Wilson, 64; Washington, 1,016; Green- 
ville, 1,329 ; total, 2,359. Alfred Moye was elected presi- 
dent by a vote of 1,391 to 887 for R. L. Meyers. Nine di- 
rectors were elected. They were Josejjh Potts, Benjamin F. 
Hanks, B. F. Havens, R. L. Meyers, of Beaufort ; Thomas 
Hanrahan, William Bernard, Sr., F. B. Sattherthwaite, of 
Pitt; John W. Farmer, of Edgecombe; Thomas D. Hogg, of 
Wake. > 

8 



114 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

The plank road was a great enterprise and did much for 
the upbuilding of the county. The arrival and departure of 
the old stage coaches were almost as great events as that of 
daily trains now. Crowds were always waiting for it. Along 
the route it was the same. Stores were built along the road, 
and the village of Marlboro was one of its results. It be- 
came a place of much importance and soon boasted a male 
and female academy that was the pride of that section. The 
steamer "Morehead" was built and placed on the river to run 
in connection with the coaches. 

The spring of 1856 was a noted cold one. Snow began 
falling Sunday night, April 26th, and continued to Tuesday 
night, when there was a general freeze. The oldest inhabi- 
tant remembered nothing of the kind before. All the fruit 
and vegetation were completely killed, as were all growing 
crops. Whole fields of wheat, nearing the heading state, 
were killed and presented a curious sight. 

Pitt County sustained an irreparable loss in 1858 by the 
burning of the court-house. It was a complete loss, with 
many of the records. On the fly-leaf of the appearance 
docket, which was saved, is the following memorandum of 
the event : "On Friday morning, about 4 o'clock on the 7th 
February, 1858, the court-house in Greenville, Pitt County, 
was discovered to be on fire, and was entirely consumed, with 
all the records, except the books in the office of the register, 
the trial and appearance dockets of the Superior Court, and 
the trial docket from the office of the clerk of the county 
court." 

The court-house is supposed to have been burned by a man 
from Tennessee, to destroy a will. He had made a copy of 
the will and changed some words. Finding this, the clerk 
refused to certify it a true copy. This Tennesseean was in- 
terested in some property left by the will and it was not as he 
wanted it. Circumstantial evidence was so strong that the 
gi-and jury found a true bill against him for the burning, but 
he was never brought to trial for it. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



115 



A portion of the first court-house ever built in the county is 
yet standing and is used as a tenant house. It is about three 
miles east of Greenville, on the Washington road. It w&i 
built on the lands of John Hardee, which once had prospects 
of being in a town. But the present site of Greenville was 
more attractive and in 1771 Martinborough was established 
and in a few years a court-house was built. It stood on the 
lot in front of the present court-house, a little north of the 




THE WHICHARD SCHOOL HOUSE, GREENVILLE. 

Tliis was a poineer school, long conducted as a pay school, by Mrs Violet Whichard. 

Later was used as printing office by her sons. Now moved and remodeled 

for dining room and kitchen. 

site of the old market-house of a few years ago. There is no 
record of what became of that court-house. In 1789 William 
Blount got a bill through the legislature for a new one and 
the court-house that stood in and across Evans street just 
above Third, and which was burned in 1858, is supposed to 
be the one built under Blount's bill. 

After years of effort a common school system was now 
partly in force in the State. Though Archibald D. Murphey 
threw sparks of life into the cause of common education in 



116 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

1816-17, no lasting results were had. But the act creating 
the "Literary Fund" in 1825 was a revival of interest that by 
1840 had over $100,000 in the treasury for school purposes. 
A new life was now put into the school matters, but strange 
to say the independent and indifferent action of many coun- 
ties required more legislation to force the matter upon the 
people. In 1852, Calvin H. Wiley was elected the first State 
Superintendent of Public Instruction. He entered upon the 
work with a zeal and determination, that in a few short 
years found the schools on a surer foundation and the system 
somewhat on the order of to-day. The Literary Fund was 
divided among the counties, and where other taxes were added 
a reasonable school term was the result. Pitt's share of that 
fund as early as 1856 was $1,289.40. 

At a meeting of the County Superintendents in 1858, Alfred 
Moye was elected chairman. The other Superintendents were 
John S. Daniel and Willis Whichard. Their duties were 
the same as those of our present Board of Education. The 
chairman had to give bond in the sum of $6,000 for the faith- 
ful performance of his duties. E. C. Yellowly, James Mur- 
ray and Alfred Moye were elected examiners of teachers and 
allowed five dollars per year each. This meeting was held 
in April. In July they made an apportionment of 50 cents, 
"surplus," to be divided among the white children of each 
district. There were thirty-eight districts in the county. 
The school committees were elected by the popular vote of the 
districts and when no election was held the Superintendents 
appointed them. The next year the apportionment was 55 
cents. Under an act of the legislature of this year, the Su- 
perintendents subscribed, out of the school funds, for the 
North Carolina Journal of Education, published by the State 
Educational Society, for each school district in the county. 

In 1860 there died in Pitt County, where he had spent 
most of his life, Charles Harris, aged 122 years. He was 
born in England in 1738 and came to America when twenty- 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 117 

two years of age. He was a veteran of three wars : the 
Revolution, the second war with England and some Indian 
wars. He married Loany McLawhon and thej had nine chil- 
dren, none dying younger than eighty-six years. At the age 
of 107, in 1845, he joined the Free Will Baptist Church and 
was baptized in Swift Creek. 



118 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-THEEE. 



Military Spirit — Good Old Muster Days — Eighth Cen- 
sus — Elections — Fort Sumter — President Calls 
FOR Volunteers — Governor Ellis Calls for Volun- 
teers FOR Staters Defense — Secession Convention — 
Pitt's Members — G. B. Singeltary Eaises First Com- 
pany — Tar River Boys — Marlboro Guards — Disburs- 
ing and Safety Committee— War Funds — Third Regi- 
ment. 

The questions of slavery and States Rights had agitated 
the country almost from its very beginning. The agitation 
had grown with time, and now at the close of 1859, and the 
beginning of the next year, when a President was to be 
elected, much excitement was all over the land. The war 
with Mexico had not been very popular in the State, and Pitt 
did not furnish many of the men who followed Scott and Tay- 
lor to their great victories. However the other questions 
had served to keep alive the military spirit, and as many were 
predicting war between the North and the South, the military 
spirit took on new life. 

The general musters were big days. In years before, per- 
haps led by some old Mexican veterans, to the music of the 
fife and drum — 

"The jay bird, he died with the whooping-cough, 
The bullfrog, he died with the colic; 
Up jumped the toad, with his tail cut off — 
And that was an end of their frolic," 

they had lived in the past and its glories. But now stormier 
times were in prospect and though hard cider and beer and 
sometimes things much stronger, and the usual mutual fist 
fights, and mellowness all around, on such days, the thought 
of preparation for what might come was more often than 
the thought of what had been. But still there were good feel- 
ing and joy, and spirits enlivened by the cider gourd, and it 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 119 

was tramp, tramp, as they kept step to the music of the old 
veterans' fife and drum playing 

"As I went down the new-cut road, 
There I met a terrapin and a toad; 
The toad, he pat, the frog, he sing, 
And the terrapin cut the piggin wing." 

Those were good old times — times of peace, pleasure and 
plenty. But others were coming. The song of "Dixie" was 
to banish that of "The Star Spangled Banner." The be- 
ginning of 1860 was a sign of the times. 

Pitt County now had a population of 16,440, as follows: 
Whites, 7,840; free negroes, 127; slaves, 8,473. Of the 
white population, there were only 16 foreign bom. Green- 
ville, its only town, had a population of 828. 

The peojDle were taking interest in all aifairs and the elec- 
tion campaign was a warm one. The election was close. For 
Governor, John W. Ellis, Democrat, 771 ; John Pool, Whig, 
778. In the Presidential election, Abraham Lincoln was 
elected over all his competitors, but getting very, very few 
votes in JSTorth Carolina and not enough to count in Pitt 
County. Talk of dissolution of the Union was begun. In 
Pitt, there were strong Union and strong Secession men. 
Discussions were warm and 1861 saw its people divided 
among themselves. The legislature which met in December, 
1860, recommended that a volunteer force should at once be 
enrolled and armed for defense. General Beauregard opened 
fire on Port Sumter, April 12th, 1861, and on the 14th, it 
was evacuated. This meant war, and President Lincoln im- 
mediately called for 75,000 volunteers. Governor Ellis 
refused the demand for 1,500 from North Carolina and called 
the legislature in extra session. He also said war was upon 
us and called for 20,000 volunteers for the State's defense. 
The legislature met May 1st and called a convention, and 
that convention, on May 20th, passed the Ordinance of Seces- 
sion. Pitt sent to that convention, now known as the "Seces- 



120 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

sion Convention," F. B. Sattertbwaite and Bryan Grimes. 
In the election for the call of the convention, Pitt County 
voted 986 "for convention" to 177 votes "against convention." 
It was a hot campaign and Sattertbwaite and Grimes, candi- 
dates without opposition, and neighbors and friends, often 
had hot words, as Grimes charged Sattertbwaite with being a 
"Union" man and opposed to secession. 

But the men of Pitt County bad not been idle. Earlier in 
the year enlistments bad been made. The first company was 
raised by George B. Singeltary, in March. He was Captain 
and his brother, R. W. Singeltary, First Lieutenant. It had 
140 men. The next was the Tar River Boys, G. W. John- 
son, Captain and R. Greene, First Lieutenant, with 100 men. 
In April the Marlboro Guards were organized, with Wm. H. 
Morrill, Captain ; J. B. Barrett, First Lieutenant ; 71 men. 
Early in May, the Third Regiment was organized at Garys- 
burg and in its companies were 84 men from Pitt. 

At the May meeting of the County Court, P. A. At- 
kinson, H. S. C;iark, F. B. Sattertbwaite, L. P. Beardsley 
aud Churchill Perkins were appointed a Disbursing and 
Safety Committee for the County. P. A. Atkinson was ap- 
pointed treasurer. Their first meeting was held on the 8th, 
when H. S. Clark was elected chairman and W. M. B. Brown, 
secretary. The secretary reported that subscriptions amount- 
ing to $4,300.76 had been received and that $4,367.76 had 
been paid out for equipping and supporting the volunteers. 
More funds were needed and it was decided to borrow $10,000 
from the bank of Washington. The expenses of Lieutenant 
W. A. Bernard, Dr. C. J. O'lTagan and W. If. Shelley, to 
Petersburg, were paid. They had been sent there on busi- 
ness pertaining to military affairs of the County. The Com- 
mittee appointed sub-committees in each district, whose duty 
it was to look after the needs and wants of the families of 
those who had volunteered and those otherwise destitute and 
needy. Of the military fund raised for equipping and pro- 
viding for the soldiers, $3,840 were raised by private and vol- 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 121 

untary subscriptions, in amounts varying from $400 down 
to ten cents. 

That the war spirit was thoroughly aroused is seen by the 
active preparations made for war. Many were enlisting and 
going to the front. The people at home were doing great 
things to sustain them. At a meeting of the Justices of the 
County, on the 13th, it was resolved to raise $25,000 for 
equipping and sustaining the troops sent off to war. 

Pitt County men were enlisting everywhere. Some were 
so anxious to get to the front that they enlisted in companies 
already there. They were full of the idea advanced by many 
hot secessionists that all the blood to be shed could be wiped 
up with a pocket handkerchief, and they did not want the war 
ended before they could take a part. • 

When the Third Regiment was organized, there were sixty 
men in Company D, from Pitt. Edward Savage, of ^ew 
Hanover, was Captain. In company E, M. L. E. Redd, of 
Onslow, Captain, there were 21. There were also a few others 
in some of the other companies. In the Second Regiment 
were 10 men in Company A, and others in other companies. 



122 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR. 



Major Grimes — Wyatt Killed — Disposition of Pitt 
Companies and Men — Hatteras Captured — Pitt 
County Boys Prisoners — Surgeon Brown and Madi- 
son — Yellowly's Call for Volunteers — Officers of 
Twenty-seventh Regiment — Chicamacomico — Pro- 
motions. 

On the organization of the Fourth Regiment, at Camp Hill, 
near Garysbiirg, Bryan Grimes was commissioned Major of 
that regiment. He was offered Lieutenant-Colonel of the 
Eighth or Major of the Fourth and chose the latter. He at 
once resigned as a member of the Secession Convention and 
was succeeded by P. A. Atkinson. 

On the 10th of June was fought the battle of Big Bethel, 
Virginia, in which Henry L. Wyatt was killed, being the 
first soldier to fall in battle wearing the Gray. He was at 
that time a member of the Edgecombe Guards, his parents 
having but recently moved from Greenville to Tarboro, where 
he enlisted. Though born in Richmond, Virginia, most of 
his life was spent in Greenville, where he grew to manhood 
and received most of his education, all of which he received 
in Pitt County. Pitt has as much claim to him as a hero as 
has Edgecombe, as it was only a circumstance that gave him 
to that county. 

The Twenty-seventh-Regiment was organized at New Bern, 
June 22d, Captain Singeltary's and Captain Morrill's compa- 
nies being two of its companies. Captain Singeltary was 
elected Colonel, and R. W. Singeltary succeeded him as Cap- 
tain of the company, which was known as "H." Captain 
Morrill's company was "E." The Tar River Boys had been 
sent to Portsmouth, N. C, and in July, Captain Johnson was 
elected Lieutenant-Colonel of the Seventh Volunteers, and the 
volunteers sent to Hatteras. On the 13th, Dr. Wyatt M. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 123 

Brown was elected Surgeon of the Seventeenth Regiment. 
He had been a surgeon in the U. S. Army, but some time 
previous had resigned and located at his old home, Greenville, 
with his brother, the late Dr. W. M. B. Brown. Dr. C. J. 
O'Hagan was elected Surgeon of the Ninth. In the Thirty- 
third, organized this month, Pitt had 26 men in Company B. 

The last recorded meeting of the Disbursing and Safety 
Committee was held on the 13th. The only business was 
allowing some accounts and only two members, L. P. Beards- 
ley and P. A. Atkinson, and the secretary, were present. 

August 28th Fort Hatteras was attacked by a large fleet. 
Next day the attack was resumed. In the defense of the fort, 
numbers 2 and 3 of the channel batteries were under the com- 
mand of Lieutenant-Colonel G. W. Johnson, assisted by 
First-Lieutenant M. T. Moye and Second-Lieutenant G. W. 
Daniel. The guns of the fort could not reach the boats, 
while those of the boats were throwing more than twenty 
shells a minute into the fort, and after receiving that bom- 
bardment three hours and twenty minutes, the fort was sur- 
rendered, with many prisoners, though some of the Confed- 
erates managed to escape. Most of the Tar River Boys were 
taken prisoners and sent to Fort Warren. Surgeon Brown 
had his body servant, Madison, with him. Madison was 
offered his liberty, but preferring to remain with his master, 
was sent on a prisoner with the others. 

Some time later Surgeon Brown was exchanged and made 
chairman of the State Examining Board of Surgeons, with 
headquarters at Goldsboro. Afterwards he was transferred 
to Mississippi. He never forgot his faithful servant Madi- 
son, and made provision for him after he was freed. 

E. C. Yellowly and A. J. Hines, who had been commis- 
sioned respectively Captain and First Lieutenant, to raise a 
company, had enlisted 128 men by September. lA July they 
had issued the following circular: 



124 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

ONE HUNDEED MEN WANTED 

For the First Regiment 
OF State Troops. 

The undersigned are now raising a company of State troops 
to complete the first regiment, of which Col. Stokes is in com- 
mand. It is desirable that this company should be formed as 
speedily as practicable, that it may secure a position under so 
efficient and experienced an officer as Col. Stokes, and the more 
speedily it is formed the more speedily will it be led to meet 
an enemy now ready to commence its long-tlireatened attempt 
to invade our homes and subjugate a free people. 

Recruits will be enlisted at Greenville, Pitt County, by the 
undersigned until the Company is formed. 

E. C. Yellowly, Capt. 
Greenville, July 10, 1861. A. J. Hines, 1st. Lieut. 

However, it was not formed in time to get into the First 
Regiment, but got into the Eighth Regiment at Camp Ma- 
con, as Company G, on its organization on the 13th. C. D. 
Rountree and Walter N^. Peebles were elected Lieutenants. 
The regiment soon left for Roanoke Island, where it arrived 
on the 21st. 

Soon after the organization of the Twenty-seventh Regi- 
ment, four companies volunteered for the war, which reduced 
it to a battalion of twelve months volunteers, of which G. B. 
Singeltary was elected Lieutenant-Colonel. Before the close 
of the month four other companies had been added and it was 
reorganized as a regiment. G. B. Singeltary was again 
elected Colonel and his brother, T. C. Singeltary, of Company 
E, Major. R. W. Singeltary was elected Captain of Com- 
pany IT; J. A. Williams, First Lieutenant; G. W. Cox, Sec- 
ond, and C. F. Gaskins, Third. 

October 4th, was the fight at Chicamacomico, in which the 
Eighth <5aptured the Federal camp and 55 prisoners. On the 
6th the camp at Roanoke was captured, with much camp 
plunder. In both of those actions Company G was engaged 
and did its duty. 

In November Captain Morrill, having been promoted Com- 
missary of his regiment, (27th) resigned, and was succeeded 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 125 

by Jason P. Joyner, as Captain of Company E. He was pro- 
moted from Adjutant. H. F. Price was elected First-Lieu- 
tenant. 

In December Colonel G. B. Singeltary resigned as Colonel 
of the Twenty-seventh Regiment and was succeeded by John 
Sloan, the Lieutenant-Colonel, who was in turn succeeded by 
T. C. Singeltary soon thereafter. 



126 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE. 



Enlistments — Military Board — Capture of Roanoke 
Island — Companies and Officers — Forty-fourth 
Regiment — Seventeenth — Grimes, Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel — Fifty-fifth — Tranters Creek Skirmish — Fight 
a Few Days Later — Colonel Singeltary Killed — 
Movements — Seventy-fifth. 

January, 1862, found more than 500 Pitt County men en- 
listed and more ready. Eleven men enlisted in a company 
then forming in Wake, which afterwards became Company 
I, of the Forty-fifth Regiment. R. W. Singeltary was elected 
Captain of a company then forming, which afterwards became 
H, of the Forty-fourth Regiment. H. F. Price was elected 
Captain of Company H, of the Twenty-seventh, to succeed R. 
W. Singeltary. D. H. Smith and W. L. Cherry had each 
been commissioned to raise a company and were actively do- 
ing so. 

February 6th, the County Court elected a Military Board 
for the County, John S. Smith, Dr. W. M. B. Brown and 
Arthur Forbes, constituting that Board. 

On the 8th, the Federal fleet, which had been off Hatteras 
since January 23d, began an attack on Roanoke Island, and 
for five hours 1,400 Confederates withstood the attack of 
10,000 Federals. The end was the surrender of the Confed- 
erates. They were carried as prisoners to Elizabeth City, 
where they were soon paroled. On the 14th, L. R. Anderson 
and Cornelius Stephens were commissioned Captain and Lieu- 
tenant of a company of 112 men, enlisted by them. Fifteen 
men from Pitt were enlisted in Company D, J. M. C. Luke, 
Captain, from Hertford County, Seventeenth Regiment. The 
Twenty-seventh Regiment was now at Fort Lane, below Kew 
Bern, where, about the last of this month, T. C. Singeltary, 
Lieutenant-Colonel, resigned, and R. W. Singeltary sue- 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 127 

ceeded Colonel Sloan. McG. Ernul was elected First-Lieu- 
tenant of Company G, of the same regiment. 

The Twenty-seventh was in a fight at New Bern, March 
25th. While it did little of the fighting, it held an important 
position and was the last to leave the field, after which it 
marched to Kinston. The Forty-fourth Kegiment was or- 
ganized at Camp Mangum, near Ealeigh, the last of this 
month, with G. B. Singeltary, Colonel. Abram Cox was As- 
sistant Commissary Sergeant, Dr. J. N^. Bynum, Assistant 
Surgeon, and W. L. Cherry, one of the Quartermasters., 
Companies C, W. L. Cherry, Captain; Abram Cox, First 
Lieutenant, 131 men; D, L. E. Anderson, Captain; C. 
Stephens, First Lieutenant, 116 men; and I, D. H. Smith, 
Captain; J. J. Bland, First Lieutenant, 120 men; and a 
few men in other companies were from Pitt. 

In April another company, Howard Wiswall, Captain ; J. 
H. Gray, First Lieutenant; 117 men, became K, of the Sev- 
enteenth Eegiment. E. W. Singeltary was elected Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel of the Seventeenth, and that regiment went to 
Virginia, where it was put in General Walker's Brigade. 

Early in May, Colonel Anderson, of the Fourth, was put 
in command of the brigade, at Williamsburg, Virginia, and 
Lieutenant-Colonel Grimes was in command of the regiment. 
In the organization of the Fifty-fifth Eegiment, at Camp 
Mangimi, J. T. Whitehead was elected Major, C. E. Jackey, 
Chief Musician, and J. P. Bernard, one of the musicians. 
Company E, J. T. Whitehead, Captain, and H.-W. Brown, 
First Lieutenant, 90 men, were from Pitt. On the 19th, the 
Forty-fourth was sent to Tarboro and did picket duty in that 
section and Pitt, being included in the Pamlico division, 
under Brigadier-General Martin. First Lieutenant Brown, 
of Company E, Fifty-fifth Eegiment, resigned, and J. A. 
Hanrahan succeeded him. On the 30th, a picket squad, of the 
Forty-fourth, had a skirmish with a few Federals at Tranter's 
Creek. The squad had been to Washing-ton to exchange 



128 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

about oOO ])risoiiers. Returning, it left the river at Yankee 
Hall and marched to Myers' Mill. A squad of sixteen Fed- 
erals were then about Latham's Cross-Roads. Church La- 
tham, a merchant there, tried to hide his books, which created 
some suspicion. The Federals examined them and fiuding 
nothing wrong, went on to the bridge. As they were cross- 
ing they were fired into. E. P. Fleming, of Company B, 
fired the first shot. There was big rise in the water and a 
boy was the first to give information of their approach. They 
crossed the bridge and went on to the mill, where the others 
of the squad were on guard. There they swam the creek 
and returned to Washing-ton, with a loss of one killed and 
perhaps some wounded. Next day some of them returned 
and tore up the bridge. On the 31st, the Twenty-seventh 
Regiment, which was at Kinston, was sent to Virginia. On 
that day was fought the battle of Seven Pines, where Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Grimes' Regiment got its name of the 
''Bloody Fourth." He was the only officer of the Regiment 
not either killed or wounded. 

The affair at Tranter's Creek alarmed the Federals at 
Washington and they prepared to drive the Confederates 
away. A few days later the Forty-fourth and a part of the 
Third Ca^■alry Avere in the vicinity. On the 5th of Tune, 
about 500 Federals, the Twenty-fourth Regiment of Massa- 
chusetts Volunteers, under Lieutenant-Colonel F. A. Osborn 
and some cavalrv, attacked the Confederates at the mill, on 
Tranter's Creek. They did not cross and most of the fight- 
ing was from cover, the Federals from the mill on the Beau- 
fort side and the Confederates from the gin-house on the Pitt 
side. The result was seven killed and eight wounded of the 
Federals and six killed of the Confederates. Among the Con- 
federates was Colonel Singeltary. It is said that seeing a 
Federal getting ready to shoot, he ordered one of his men to 
shoot, pointing at him, when a ball pierced his head, killing 
him almost instantly. After the fight the Federals returned 
to Washington and the Confederates to Tarboro. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 129 

Dr. C. J. O'Hagan was elected Surgeon of the Thirty-fifth 
Regiment on the 17th of June. The Twenty-seventh Regi- 
ment was in the Seven Days fight around Richmond, but its 
losses were light. Lieutenant-Colonel Gotten having re- 
signed, T. C. Singeltary was elected Colonel of the Forty- 
fourth, which went to Virginia and was in General Petti- 
grew's Brigade. At Mechanicsville Lieutenant-Colonel 
Grimes had a horse killed under him. 

Ln July the Seventy-first Regiment was formed by taking 
companies of other commands. It was also known as the 
Seventh Cavalry. In Company H, of which L. J. Barrett 
was later elected Captain, were several men from Pitt, and 
also a few in other companies. Captain Barrett was pro- 
moted from the ranks. 



180 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX. 



Vance Elected Governor — State Census — Yellowly 
FOE Congress — Fifty-fifth at Kinston — General 
Clingman^s Complaint — Maryland Campaign — Cap- 
tain JoYNER Killed — Heavy Losses — Singeltary's 
Reply — Movement of Troops — Haddock's Cross-roads 
— Federals Capture Greenville — Other Events. 

In the August election Z. B. Vance, then Colonel of the 
Twenty-sixth, defeated William Johnston, of Charlotte, for 
Governor. Pitt's vote was 649 for Vance and 229 for John- 
ston. As reported by the Secretary of State, the State cen- 
sus gave Pitt a population of 16,793, there being 7,480 
whit( s, 127 free negroes and 8,473 slaves. This year Captain 




state CAPITOL, RALEIGH, N. C. 

E. C. Yellowly was a candidate for representative in the Con- 
federate Congress against the incumbent R. R. Bridgers. On 
the returns Bridgers was elected but Captain Yellowly's 
friends claimed he had been cheated out of his election, and 
wanted him to contest, which he refused to do. 

On the 7th, the Fifty-fifth prevented the landing of troops 
from a gunboat at Kinston. Lieut.-Col. J. T. Whitehead, 
of the Fifty-fifth, being dead, Capt. M. T. Smith succeeded 
him. 

In the summer Brig.-Gen. T. L. Clingman, who had some 
supervision of this section, wrote to Gen. D. H. Hill, that 
two companies of cavalry, one on either side of Tar River, 



SKETCHES OP PITT COUNTY. 131 

were not sufficient to prevent intercourse between the Fed- 
erals below and the people above ; that the Federals got Eich- 
mond papers regularly and also other news; that Satter- 
thwaite, a member of the State convention, lived within the 
Federal lines, but was allowed to go to Greenville whenever 
he wished, and others were allowed the same privilege. He 
thought such intercourse should not be allowed. 

In the Maryland campaign, the Twenty-seventh formed 
the rear guard, and had no hard fighting in the beginning. 
In crossing the Potomac, on September 5th, Colonel Grimes 
received a severe injury by being kicked by a horse. Early 
in this month, the Eighth, which had been captured at Roan- 
oke Island and later exchanged, reorganized, at Camp Man- 
gum, and was sent east, where, about Kinston, it did picket 
duties, as also the Fifty-fifth was doing. In the battle of 
South Mountain, on the llth. Colonel Grimes had a horse 
killed under him. At Sharpsburg, or Antietam, on the I7th, 
the Twenty-seventh lost 203 men out of 325. Company E 
had two-thi]*ds of its men and officers killed or wounded, 
among the killed being J. P. Joyner, its Captain. It had 
only four men able for duty next day. When starting to 
make the charge in this battle, a drunken fellow on horse- 
back rode out in front, pulled off his hat, waved it high and 
said, "Come on, boys, I'm leading this charge." Lieutenant- 
Colonel R. W. Singeltary, who was leading it, replied, 
"You're a liar, sir ; we lead our own charges." In this battle, 
with only one man to a panel of fence, the Third held its posi- 
tion from midday of the I7th to 10 a. m. on the 18th, without 
so much as a drop of water, all of which time Federal ar- 
tillery played "battle-door and shuttle-cock" with these fence 
rails. In addition to losing its Captain, Company E lost its 
First and Second Lieutenants killed. R. W. Joyner, brother 
of Captain J. P. Joyner, was elected Captain afterwards. 
The latter part of the month, H. G. Whitehead was promoted 
Captain, and J. A. Hanrahan, First Lieutenant of Company 
E, Fifty-fifth Regiment. 



132 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

Early in October the Fifty-fifth went to Virginia and was 
put in the brigade of Brigadier-General J. E. Davis, of 
Mississippi. R. W. Singeltary resigned as Lieutenant-Col- 
onel of the Twenty-seventh, and John E. Cooke succeeded 
him. C. Stephens resigned as First Lieutenant of Company 
D, Forty-fourth Eegiment, and J. S. Eason succeeded. 

This month was also noted for two expeditions into Pitt 
bv the Federals from Washington ; one to the Haddock's 
cross roads section was piloted by one Horner, a buffalo. 
Several men of Captain C. A. White's company were cap- 
tured. Horner is said to have been rewarded by the Fed- 
erals with the office or title of captain. 

The other expedition was also from Washington, for the 
purpose of taking Greenville. It consisted of the steamer 
Xorth State, mounting one 24:-pounder Howitzer and six 
men: a launch with one 12-pounder Howitzer and seventeen 
men ; a flat boat and seventeen men, in charge of Lieutenant 
McLane, and fourteen men with a Howitzer, in care of Gun- 
ner McDonald. The expedition left Washington on the 8th 
at 4:30 p. m. and arrived at Greenville the next day about 
ten o'clock, after having some difficulty in- passing sandbars. 
The expedition was under Second Assistant Engineer Lay, of 
the U. S. I^avy, who proceeded up-town under a flag of truce 
to demand the surrender of the town, which was done by the 
Mavor. Some Confederates were on the bridae when the ex- 
pedition arrived. One boat went a little up the river from 
the wharf, and one of those on the bridge, W. C. Eichardson, 
killed a Federal soldier on that boat. Eichardson then 
escaped, but it had the effect of exciting the Federals to retali- 
ation. They made many threats of vengeance, but finding 
it was a soldier and not a private who had killed the man, 
they took a lot of horses, mules, stores, and provisions and 
ten of the citizens and left. In the expedition were a lot of 
negro soldiers in uniforms with belts, swords and pistols. 
Thev drew the artillerv throush the streets, and when leavina; 
gave a general invitation to all the negroes to go with them. 



I 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 133 

Xone went at that time. The citizens who were taken were 
J. S. Dancy, Hodges, Hoell, Tvce, Cobb, B, Albritton, R. 
Greene, Allen Tyce, James Forbes and William Stocks. 
They were taken to Washington, held a few days and released. 

Brigadier-General Anderson, having been seriously 
wounded, Colonel Grimes was now in command of Ander- 
son's Brigade and commanded it in the battle of Fredericks- 
burg. 

The latter part of the month, J. T. Williams, Lieutenant of 
Company E, Twenty-seventh, was promoted Captain of Com- 
pany G, same regiment. About the first of December, W. 
L. Cherry, Captain of Company C, Forty-fourth, was pro- 
moted Assistant Quartermaster and M. G. Cherry succeeded 
him. On the 10th, a detachment of the Seventeenth par- 
ticipated in the capture of Plymouth, while another detach- 
ment helped drive the Federals from Washington. The 
Twenty-seventh was at Fredericksburg, but suffered little, and 
at Marye's Heights, was protected by a rock wall. Since re- 
organization, the Eighth had been in camp about Wilmington, 
but on the 17th, was near Goldsboro and after a several hours 
fight, succeeded in checking the advance of the Federals, who 
however, burned the bridge across Xeuse River. There had 
been a number of changes in the officers of the Pitt companies 
during the last few months, most of which have been men- 
tioned. The changes of the minor officers were very frequent. 



134 SKETCHES OF PITT COUKTY. 



CIIAPTEE TWENTY-SEVEN. 



Emancipation Proclamation — Movements of Troops- 
Colonel Griffin in Pitt — His Picket Lines — Tithe 
Gatherers — Colonel Hammond — His Predicament — 
Conversation — Escape — Chancellorsville — Jack- 
son Killed — In Virginia. 

Though the Confederate States were being hemmed in 
by great Federal armies and there was want within its con- 
fines, the great Confederate victories gave hopes of an early 
termination of the war ; but at the same time there was more 
determination on the part of the North to win in the end. So, 
greater efforts were made to raise men and money and to 
cripple the South. « 

January 1st, 1863, gave the country President Lincoln's 
Emancipation Proclamation, by which he declared free all 
the slaves of the Confederate States. So far as the slaves 
themselves were concerned, it had little effect, for few of 
them knew of it or could profit by it. In Pitt, it may have 
induced a few more to run away and enter the Federal lines 
about New Bern and Washington. Those who remained with 
their masters, remained as faithful as before. During this 
month the Twenty-seventh had seen service around Wilming- 
ton, Charleston, Goldsboro and Kinston, at which latter place 
it was at this time. The Seventeenth had been brigaded 
under General Martin. 

Colonel Grimes was relieved of the command of the bri- 
gade early in February by Brigadier-General Ramseur, and 
devoted his talents to increasing the efficiency of his regi- 
ment. The Eighth was noAV at James Island, S. C, where 
there were many deaths. It was also on an expedition to 
Savannah. 

In March the Seventeenth was on duty about Fort Branch, 
after which it was about Kinston and Wilmington. The 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



135 



complaint of General Clingmau seems to have been heard, 
for Colonel Griffin, of the Sixty-second Georgia Ecgiment, 
with three companies of North Carolina troops, with head- 
quarters at the Avon farm, did picket duty from Blount's 
Creek to Williamston. Half his regiment was at the Avon. 
All communication and passing was forbidden between the 
people, across his picket lines, except to the Rev. Mr. Kenerly. 
Captain Gray (of Georgia) was on the north side of the 
river at Colonel Gray Little's, near Pactolus. Later Colonel 
Griffin moved up to the Clark place, on the east side of the 




CONFEDERATE PLAT IN CEMETERY, GREENVILLE. 
The cannon shown is the Buckell Cannon. 

river, above Greenville. There it wa*s easier to get supplies, 
and Mrs. S. W. Atkinson furnished him pasturage. 

Pitt County now had "Tithe Gatherers," whose business 
was to collect one-tenth of the products of the County and 



136 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

forward them to the armj in the field. For the Bethel sec- 
tion, including parts of Edgecombe and Martin counties, IST. 
M. Hammond held the position. At one time he had a large 
amount of supplies on hand and the Federals heard of it. 
Though he had usually a squad of soldiers for a guard, at 
this time there were not that many on hand. There had 
been a detachment at the bridges across Conetoe Creek, but 
they had gone away a few days before. He did not sleep 
too well now, for he feared the supplies might be captured. 
Sure enough, late one night Mrs. Hammond was aroused by 
the tread of horses in the yard. She detected it 'was not the 
tread of Confederate horses, the Confederate and Federal 
cavalry drilling different. She aroused Colonel Hammond, 
who had really been listening too. Soon a man called and 
being answered, asked about getting something for his horse.' 
Then Colonel Hammond knew it was the Federals. He told 
them to go to his barn, where they would find plenty of corn 
and fodder. Other questions were being asked and answered, 
when the report of a gun was heard some distance away, 
about where old Bethel was. The Federals got scared, and 
scared badly, as they were very few. Then something like 
the following conversation, though very hurriedly, passed 
between them : 

Federal : Any Confederates about here ? 

Colonel Hammond: Yes; Colonel is at the 

bridges, a mile or two west of here. 

Federal : Any Confederates down there ? (Flere the re- 
port of the guns was heard). 

Colonel Hammond: Yes. 

Federal : How many ? Are any about here ? 

Colonel Hammond : I don't know. 

Federal : Well, you- know you are our prisoner, but if 

you will tell us how to get away from here, if you 

mayn't go. 

It is needless to say Colonel Hammond told them and they 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 137 

were as glad as he was ; aud all the supplies were saved and 
soon found their way to the Confederate armies. 

On May 2d and 3d was fought the battle of Chancellors- 
ville, in which battle Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson was mortally 
wounded. Pitt County had many men in that battle and 
among the hundreds of others, had one who was of the squad 
that fired that fatal shot. General Jackson died on the 10th, 
his body was taken to Richmond and lay in state in the 
capitol, Company D, Forty-fourth Regiment, being the Guard 
pi Honor. The Twenty-seventh had a fight at Gun Swamp 
and drove the Federals into their lines near I^ew Bern on 
the 19th. 

June 1st, the Twenty-seventh was ordered to Virginia and 
was on duty and fiffhtins; around Richmond all the summer. 

At South Anna Bridge, on the 26th, the Forty-fourth suf- 
fered heavy losses. At one time the regiment was sur- 
rounded and commauded to surrender, but cut its way out. 
One officer, when ordered to surrender, said, "No, I'll be d — d 
if I do," and fought till he fell. 



^ 



138 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



CHAPTEE TWENTY-EIGHTH. 



Gettysburg — Farthest At — Severe Losses — Potter's 
Paid — At Greenville — Videttes Fired Upon — Pe- 
TURN From Tarboko — Skirmish at Otter's Creek 
Bridge — Lieutenant Sharpe — Escape of Paiders — 
Their Poute — At Scuffleton — Demoralization of 
Followers. 

July 1st, 2d and 3d was fought the great battle of Gettys- 
burg. North Carolina had there twelve regiments and one 
battalion. In the Third and Fifty-fifth, Pitt County had 
near a company each. On the third day, the Fifty-fifth went 
farthest in the Federal lines. Company E, Capt. H. G. White- 
head's, being in the lead. Captain Whitehead was wounded 
the day before and was not in this charge. The regiment 
lost more than half its men, killed or wounded. The Third 
fought in the open on the third day and suffered very severely. 
Going into battle with 300 guns, it lost 220. After the bat- 
tle it had only seventy-seven guns. But it lost none as pris- 
oners or stragglers. 

Potter's raid from New Bern to Tarboro and return, 
through Pitt, was the cause of much excitement this month. 
Brigadier-General E. E. Potter, with several companies of 
infantry and cavalry, left New Bern on the 19th. Coming 
by way of Vanceboro, they raided the country, and when a 
few miles from Greenville they captured a picket post of fif- 
teen men, destroying their stores and tents. They were a part 
of Captain C. A. White's company, of Whitford's Battalion. 
They reached Greenville about 3 p. m. Some time was spent 
plundering and taking what they could use and about six p. 
m. they continued their raid on towards Tarboro, on the 
south side of the river. When nearing Tyson's Creek, they 
were fired upon three times by unknown and unseen parties. 
They reached Old Sparta the next morning and by nine 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 139 

o'clock were in Tarboro. A detachment was sent on to 
Eocky Mount and at both places much property was de- 
stroyed, consisting of bales of cotton, flour, provisions, three 
boats, the cotton mills at Eocky Mount, railroad and county 
bridges, several trains, and other property. The Tarboro 
raiders returned the same day. Shortly after passing Old 
Sparta, they were fired upon and a somewhat running skir- 
mish was kept up to Otter's Creek, though the officers took 
time to get a good supper at W. B. F. Newton's, who lived at 
the Swain place. While there several neighbors tried to get 
an opportunity to shoot some of them and one James Dupree, 
son of Thomas Dupree, a boy about sixteen, was captured with 
his gun, but was released. Learnirg of the raid, Colonel Clai- 
borne left Kinston with his regiment to intercept them. He 
met them about night at Otter's Creek bridge, about a mile 
from Falkland. The bridge was burned by Colonel Clai- 
borne. Here a sharp skirmish fight occurred and the Fed- 
erals finding they could not dislodge the Confederates, made 
a round-about march and crossed the creek at the Dupree 
crossing. Lieutenant V. B. Sharpe, of Company E, Forty- 
third, knowing the country, begged Colonel Claiborne to let 
him have a company to intercept them at that crossing, where 
he stated he could capture them all. Colonel Claiborne would 
not do so, so they escaped and continued on their raid. 
Across the creek, two citizens. Col. Walter ISTewton and W. B. 
F. ISTewton, were on the road with their guns. It was night 
and they fired into the Federals and run. They did no dam- 
age. Arriving at Colonel Newton's house they attempted 
to burn it, and then left by the Otter's Creek church road. 
The negroes put the fire out before the house was much dam- 
aged. Going on by way of the church, the Federals looted 
the country of all they could. Going into Greene County 
by way of Fieldsboro they made a circuit near Snow Hill and 
reached Scuffleton (Eidge Spring) next day. Whitford's 
Battalion was in that vicinity and a fight was expected there. 



140 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

But no stand was made. Captain Edwards, of Company C, 
simply had the planks of the Scuffleton bridge taken up, and 
left, narowly escaping capture himself. As the Federals 
were crossing the bridge, which they relaid, Josiah Dixon, 
who, with two others, was on the west side of the creek, fired 
into their rear. It was early in the morning and the raiders 
thinking they were attacked, fled, leaving some horses 
and baggage, which the three took. 

The expedition consisted of about 300 men and officers. 
By the time they got back to Burney's cross roads, they had a 
big lot of negroes, horses, mules, wagons, provisions, and 
other things. There the Fiftieth Eegiment from Kinston 
tried to intercept them. The Fiftieth opened fire on them 
with a small brass cannon strapped to the back of a mule, 
which had little effect other than to completely demoralize 
the followers, mostly negroes. That great mob, composed of 
men, women, children and babies, perched on wagons, carts, 
buggies, carriages, and^on horseback, whipping, slashing and 
yelling like crazy Indians, were suddenly halted by that 
mule's camion firing on some negTO troops in the rear. Pan- 
demonium reigned and the whole became a confused mass in 
their efforts to escape. A negro captain, driving a pair of 
fine gi-ay horses, was shot dead as he attempted to pass, firing 
at the Confederates. Others were killed or wounded about 
in the woods where they were trying to escape or shoot sol- 
diers. Scouring the woods many negroes were found and 
captured. Among them were many children, even babies, 
who had been abandoned by their mothers in their mad at- 
tempt to escape. All kinds of fine clothing, tableware and 
other portable things were found strewed about the vicinity. 
The Fiftieth captured what horses it needed and went in pur- 
suit of the raiders, capturing more horses and property and 
negroes on the route. The Federals continued their way on 
to Street's Ferry, where some Confederates again attacked 
them. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUXTY. 141 

At Greenville, the Federals spent several hours, raided bar- 
rooms, many got drunk, attempted to destroy the river bridge 
and had a good time. There were other Confederates of the 
Sixty-seventh in Black Jack vicinity when those of Captain 
White's Company were captured, but they left in a hurry- 
It was said that Colonel Whitford ordered a retreat to Con- 
tentnea bridge, and that a regular, go-as-you-please race en- 
sued, every man looking out for self. It is not known what 
became of some of them, as many never reached the bridge. 



142 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

CHAPTEK TWENTY-NINE. 



The Eighth — Major Yellowly — Forty-fourth and 
Sixty-sixth — Bristoe Station — Losses — Cas Laugh- 
iNGiiousE — Duel That Never Occurred — War Prices 
— Capture at Haddock's Cross-roads — Red Banks Af- 
fair — Other Events. 

The Eighth was still about Charleston, and while on Morris 
Island was at all times exposed to a murderous fire. The 
Fifty-fifth was doing duty about the Rapidan, in Virginia, 
where it remained until October. 

The first of August Captain Yellowly was promoted Major 
of the Eighth Regiment, at which time his regiment was in 
Battery Wagner, where it remained some time. The Forty- 
fourth was now in Ivirkland's Brigade, and was almost con- 
stantly fighting about Petersburg. The Sixty-sixth was or- 
ganized at Kinston by combining the Eighth and Fourth bat- 
talions. Company E was mostly from Pitt County. S. S. 
Quinerly was Captain and I. K. Witherington, First Lieu- 
tenant. A. J. liines was promoted Captain of Company G, 
Eighth Regiment. 

October 14th was fought the battle of Bristoe Station, in 
which Cooke's Brigade lost 700 men and Kirkland's Brigade 
lost 560. The Twenty-seventh was in Cooke's, and lost 290 
men out of 416. The Forty-fourth was cut nearly to pieces, 
and greatly distinguished itself. Three times was it ordered 
to fall back, yet it steadily advanced, and only fell back under 
peremptory orders; and that, too, when victory was almost 
won. As the color-bearer of the Twenty-seventh fell. Cor- 
poral J. B. Barrett, one of the color-guard, caught the colors. 
lie had gone only a few steps when he was shot down and 
another guard canght them. 

Shortly before this battle, new clothing had been distrib- 
uted among some of the companies. As the Twenty-seventh 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 143 

was falling back up the hill, Cas Laughinghouse, of Company 
E, found his knapsack in his way. It was too heavy. Ke- 
membering that his new clothes were in it he would not throw 
it away, so he deliberately stopped and exchanged his clothes 
under a heavy fire, escaping unharmed. 

Major Yellowly, of the Eighth, was now Lieutenant-Col- 
onel of that regiment, having been recently promoted. For 
what he considered an injustice, Calhoun Moore, of Company 
I, Forty-fourth, challenged his Captain, D. H. Smith, to fight 
a duel. Captain Smith resigned that he could accept. Then 
Moore refused to fight. Smith reenlisted as a private, but 
got a furlough home, at the expiration of Avhich he Went to 
New Bern and remained in the Federal lines to the close of 
the war. W. J. Hodges, of the same company, acted likewise. 
J. R. Roach succeeded Smith as Captain. 

Confederate money had now greatly depreciated and prices 
were skyward. So scarce were many things and so much was 
the depreciation of the money, that a gallon of molasses was 
worth $8, one pound of beef 62 1-2 cents, one bushel of corn- 
meal $15, one pound of black pepper $8, one pound of cheese 
$3, a good horse $1,000, and so on. Times were getting 
hard. There was want in Pitt County and the County Court 
decided to issue $40,000 in bonds for the benefit of the poor. 
There was much discontent and many people were tired of 
the war and anxious for peace. 

iN'ovember 25th an expedition from New Bern under Cap- 
tain Graham, of the First North Carolina Volunteers (Fed- 
erals or negi'oes) with a number of regular troops, surrounded 
Whitford's Battalion near Haddock's cross-roads, captured 
52, killed a Lieutenant and four men, took 100 stand of arras, 
a lot of horses, mules, wagons and a large amount of commis- 
sary stores. The pilot of this expedition was one Horn or 
Horner, who was familiar with the country. The Eighth 
Regiment, which was in camp near Wilmington, was now 
ordered to Petersburg, but before going did duty about Kin- 
ston. It was then about Petersburg till 1864. 



144 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

December SOtli there was a fight near Eed Banks Church 
and the church burned. On one of their raids into Pitt from 
Washington, the church at Black Jack Avas burned, as it was 
sometimes used for shelter by soldiers. The Forty-first and 
some of a Virginia Eegiment were doing duty below Green- 
ville. One picket post was at Red Banks Church. On that 
night 140 Federals attacked that post. It was a general mix- 
up fight, hand-to-hand fight. The Federals retreated towards 
New Bern and the Confederates towards Greenville. The 
•Federals reported their loss as one killed, six wounded and one 
missing;. the Confederates as six killed, one piece of Starr's 
battery, caisson and horses, captured. In the darkness and 
close quarters, the combatants got mixed and a Federal rode 
off with the Confederates. At daybreak Lieutenant Slade, 
(Martin County) of Company K, saw he was not a Confed- 
erate, and at once he was a prisoner with the loss of his 
horse and arms, and his captor greatly enjoyed his prisoner's 
gTeat ''boo hoo." He was no doubt the one the Federals re- 
ported missing. 

The past year had been one of many reverses for the Con- 
federates, though some brilliant victories had been won. The 
Confederate army was being constantly depleted, while re- 
cruiting was doing little to keep the ranks filled. With the 
Federals were money and men and more money and more 
men. Yet the spirit of the Confederates was undaunted and 
they fought on with a determination to win. Such was the 
beginning of the New Year. Pitt County was doing its duty 
for the field and at home. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 145 



CHAPTEIi THIRTY. 



County Matters — Sixty-seventh — Moveme.nts of 
Other Regiments — Plymouth Captured — Great Vic- 
tory — Heavy Losses — Taxes — The Wilderness — Re- 
markable Fighting — Spottsylvania — General Dan- 
iel Wounded and Grimes in Command — Drewry''s 
Bluff — Captains Jarvis and Hines Wounded — 
Thomas King — Juniors — Cold Harbor — Captain x\n- 
DERSON Killed. 

At the January, 1864, meeting of the county court, the 
treasurer reported : receipts, from sale of bonds, $10,000 ; 
from the State, $5,592.50; from county trustee, $8,000; 
from sale of land, $1,034; disbursements, for military pur- 
poses, $19,657.45 ; balance on hand, $5,889.05. 

Early in this month the Sixty-seventh Regiment was or- 
ganized. Several of its companies had been in the service 
some time, in battalions. In the regiment were Companies 
D, Captain David Cogsdell, near half its men from Pitt ; E, 
Captain C. A. White, from Pitt; G, Captain A. W. Jones, 
most men from Pitt ; I, Captain E. F. W^hite, from Pitt ; and 
many men from Pitt in other companies, 

February 1st, the Eighth Regiment, which had just arrived 
two days before, was in the fight at Bachelor's Creek, near 
Kinston. It returned to Petersburg on the 3d. On the 2d, 
the Seventeenth Regiment was in the attack on Newport, 
where being on the right of the brigade, assailed the Federal 
columns, poured over their works and captured their guns 
and barracks. The Federals fled to Fort Macon, but as 
General Pickett failed to capture New Bern, the brigade had 
to withdraw from Newport ; thus the Seventeenth lost the ad- 
vantages of its victory. The Twenty-seventh left winter 
quarters, where it had been picketing along the Rapidan and 
was sent out to repel a cavalry raid. Such were the hard- 
10 



14G SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

ships that many of the men were without shoes and many 
were the blood-stained tracks they left in the snows. 

Preparations had been made for an attack on Plymouth. 
On the 18th of April Hoke's Division, arrived before Ply- 
mouth and drove in the pickets. On the 19th there was some 
skirmishing. Next day, the 20th, the attack was made and 
before night the town with 2,000 troops, a lot of fugitive ne- 
groes and a lot of stores were in the hands of the Confederates. 
In this fight the Eighth did effective work. At one time it 
charged up to the palisades and as the Federals pulled their 
guns out of the port holes, they thrust theirs in and fired on 
those in the fort, doing deadly execution. Then it burst 
open the gates and captured the fort. Then it attempted to 
storm another fort, but had to retreat with heavy loss. It had 
gained- one great victory, but it paid dearly for it. Its loss 
was 154 killed and wounded, including Lieutenant D. P. 
Langley of Company G. General Hoke next attacked New 
Bern and there was every prospect of an early capture, when 
he was ordered to Virginia, where he arrived just in time to 
save Petersburg from capture. In the attack on New Bern, 
the Eighth and Sixty-seventh were both engaged. 

At the May meeting of the County Court, the tax rate was 
made two and one-half per cent on the $100, and other taxes 
levied in proportion. It was also decided to borrow $6,000 
on the ''pay when we can policy." W. G. Lang was apjiointei] 
a special agent and authorized to buy 500 pairs of cards 
and to borrow money to pay for them. 

May 5th began the battle of the Wilderness, Gl.OOO Con- 
federates against 118,000 Federals. The Forty-fourth made 
the opening charge and lost heavily. The Twenty-seventh 
suffered severely, its brigade losing 1,080 out of 1,753 en- 
gaged. The Fifty-fifth had 340 men and was in the center 
of its lirigade, where in the course of three hours it was at- 
tacked seven times and each time repulsed the attack. Its 
loss was 34 killed and 1 07 wounded. It did fearful execution 



SKE'J'OIIES OF PITT COUNTT. 147 

as 157 men lay dead in its front. The Third did much fight- 
ing with clubbed guns and with bayonets, it being a hand to 
hand light, each demanding the surrender of the other. It 
captured two guns, Xext day the Fifty-fifth was attacked 
early, before it had unstacked arms, and driven back, but the 
arrival of Kershaw's division relieved it from such a perilous 
position. The Third was in the fight all day and the Forty- 
fourth, in foiling Grant's fiank movement, suffered very se- 
verely. The Fifty-fifth formed the rear guard to Spott- 
sylvania. 

The Third, Twenty-seventh, Forty-fourth and Fifty-fifth 
regiments were in the Spottsylvania fight and did hard fight- 
ing. On the 10th, at the Mattapony, the Fifty-fifth captured 
a piece of artillery and drove the Federals across the river. 
On the 12th, Brigadier-General Junius Daniel was mortally 
wounded and Colonel Grimes was placed in command of the 
brigade. At Drewry's Bluff, on the I7th, the Seventeenth 
lost 175 officers and men. It was on the right of its brigade, 
which occujoied the right of the division. The Eighth lost 
near 100 officers and men in this fight, atnong them being 
Captain T. J. Jarvis of Company B and Captain A. J. Hines 
of Company G, wounded. C. D. Rountree, First Lieutenant, 
then became acting captain of Company G. 

After Chancellorsville, the First and Third, which had lost 
so heavily, were consolidated, and as such were at Gaines's 
Mill, June 2d, and Cold Harbor June 3d. The Forty-fourth 
was also at Gaines's Mill and did much fighting. During 
part of this fight some of the Forty-fourth were throwing up 
works for defense. Minnie balls were flving thick and fast. 
Work was prooressing slowly when Lieutenant Thomas King, 
of Company D, mounted the works, called others to follow and 
complete them. His words were scarcely ended when a ball 
struck l)in), tearing through a little Testament in his upper 
left vest pocket, through his clothes and stopping against his 
flesh. It struck him squarely over his heart find the Testa- 



148 



SKETCHES OV PITT COI^NTY. 



iiiciif :^ii\0(l his life. Juinpino- \n\vk, he snid it wouhl he hest 
In wiii-k as they bad been doinu'. 

diiiu' '2d was organized the Fifth Battalion of Jnniors, at 
Goldsboro. One company was from Pitt. McD. Boyd was 
Captain; Enell Anderson. .1. .1. Laugbinghonse ai;d B. S. 
8be|)i)ard, First, Second and Third Lientenants. There were 
some few men in it from Wilson and Johnston coniiti(>s and 




BIG TREE 

Oil the laiKis of .loscpli Flciiiiiiir. Where the l)oy is standing it is about eight 

feet in diameter 

some of the oiticers, not incut iontd^ may have been from tbose 
counties. It was c<jiiiposcd of seventeen-year-old boys. The 
battalion was then oi-dcred to Wcldon. 

Tiic battle (d ( 'nid Harbor was now being fought, between 
(b-iicral Lee, with 5S,000 and General Grant with 128,000. 
The Third, Eighth, Seventeenth, Twenty-seventh, Forty- 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 149 

fourth, and- Fifty-fifth regiments, in each of which Pitt 
County had men, were in this battle. The losses of the 
Third from May 31st. to June 3d, were 275. The Eighth suf- 
fered severely and came out without an officer, Company G 
losing heavily. The Seventeenth was on the right and sup- 
l)orted G randy's Battery. In its front the dead were so thick 
that they could have been walked upon the entire extent of 
the regiment, without touching ground. The Eighteenth, 
which was also thci-e came out with about enoueh men for a 
company. The Twenty-seventh did not suffer so much as 
the others. The Forty-fourth lost heavily, among it being 
L. R. Anderson, Captain of Company D. The Fifty-fifth 
was in a protected position and did deadly work. In this 
battle Colonel Grimes' Regiment took a conspicuous part 
and he had a horse killed under him. 



150 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

' CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE. 



GiiiMES Bkigadiek-Genebal — Losses Around Peteksbukg 
— A Great Capture by Fleming^ James. Cherry and 
CoGGiNS — Regiment of Juniors — Davis Farm — Reams 
Station — Hard Times in Richmond — Short Rations 
— Winchester — Grimes in Command of Division — 
Other Fighting — Peace Party — Pitt Officers of 
Juniors — Fort Fisher. 

Brigadier-General Junius Daniel having been mortally 
wounded on May 12th, Colonel Grimes who had been in com- 
mand of the brigade since, received his commission as briga- 
dier-general, on June 5th, though it dated from May 19th. 

On the 17th, the Seventeenth was at Petersburg and a 'part 
of the 20,000 Confederates who repulsed 90,000 Federals. 
On the 30th the Eighth was in the Fort Harrison fight and 
lost heavily, as also did the Forty-fourth. The Eighth came 
out of the Fort Harrison fight with only nine men of Com- 
pany G. Out of ten color guards, only two were left and one 
was G. M. Mooring. 

On June 2d, at Cold Harbor, Sergeant R. R. Fleming 
and privates M. A. James, J. H. Cherry and Cog- 
gins were scouting in some woods. The woods were a little 
thick and suddenly they found themselves very near a small 
field in which were drilling a company of Federals. It was 
a case of cii])hii-(' or be captured, so Sergeant Fleming jumped 
from the wodds, yelling to the others to follow and demanded 
llic surrender of tlie Federals. So sudden was the rush and 
Ihinking llic woods full of Confederates, they surrendered at 
once, being panic stricken. The four Confederates marched 
theii' ])]•('}■ into llio linos iiml turned tliem oxer to their supe- 
I'iors, who never thought to com])liment the quartette, and 
others were afl(>rwards credited with most of the honors of 
the exploit. When the Federals, who numbered sixty-three, 
fonnd tliemselves prisoners in the hands of only four Confed- 
erates, they were greatly chagrined and marched into quarters 
a sorry looking set. 



SKETCHES or PITT COUNTY. 151 

There Avere no braver or truer soldiers than manv of those 
of the Twenty-seventh. These four were among the bravest 
and a little incident during a term of Pitt County court 
some years ago is worth perpetuating: Judge J. A. Gilmer 
was on the bench. M. A. James was on trial for some alter- 
cation with a neighbor. Judge Gilmer had the case con- 
tinued, saying that knowing Mr. James as a soldier that he 
(the Judge) could not give him justice, for no braver or bet- 
ter soldier fought under Lee and Jackson than M. A. James, 
and he did not feel that he could allow any fine or punish- 
ment aguinst such a man. He also specially complimented 
the others of the same company. 

July 16th, at Weldon, the Second and Fifth Battalions 
were consolidated and formed the Seventy-first Regiment of 
Junior Reserves. During this month the Fifty-fifth was 
transferred to Petersburg, and assigned a position near Mal- 
vern Hill. While there many of the men heard the sounds 
made by the Federals digging the celebrated mine, but did 
not then know what was going on underground. 

August 18th, the Fifty-fifth lost one-half its men in the 
charge at the Davis Farm fight. It went in with only 130 
men. At Reams' Station on the 24th, the Twenty-seventh 
was in Cooke's Brigade, and with only 1,753 men, captured 
2,100 and thirteen pieces of artillery. The Twenty-seventh's 
colors were the first on the Federal works. After this it 
went into the trenches for the defense of Petersburg. 

There were hard times about Richmond and Petersburg. 
Everything was scarce and hard to get. When the Seven- 
teenth was relieved at Petersburg about the first of Septem- 
ber, it had been reduced from 2,200 soldiers to about 700 
skeletons. One pound of pork and three pounds of meal 
were the rations for three days. 

On the ] 0th at Winchester, the Third experienced both suc- 
cess and defeat. After having pursued the Federals most 
of the day, late in that day it had to retreat and seek cover. 
Brigadier-General Grimes was conspicuous in this fight, lost 



152 SKETCHES OF i'lTT COUJSTV. 

nearly all his staff, was wounded, and had a horse shot under 
him. 

In the month of October, the Sixty-seventh was on duty in 
the Washington and Plymouth sections. At Cedar Creek, 
Major-General Ranseur was killed and Brigadier-General 
Grimes took command of the division. The Twenty-seventh 
boasted that during the summer campaign, not one man had 
been captured while in battle, though thirty-five had been 
while out on skirmish duties. At Burgess's Mill on the 27th, 
there was much loss. The Fifty-fifth was in the center of 
the brigade. The Forty-fourth was driving everything in, 
when a flanking movement by the Federals dealt both regi- 
ments severe losses. By a misunderstanding of orders, they 
were not properly supported and in falling back to their 
original positions, their brig'ades sufl^ered severely. They 
were soon afterwards returned to the defenses of Petersburg. 

A peace party had been gTowing in North Carolina. Gen- 
erally, the most ardent secessionists of 1861 were the most 
ard( nt peace advocates. W. W. ITolden, a well-known peace 
man, had been the candidate against Governor Vance for 
Governor this year and had been defeated. Governor Vance 
held it would be dishonorable for the State to take any such 
action not in full accord with the other Confederate States, 
and did all in his power to keep the men at the front in 
clothes and food. 

On December 8th, the Seventy-first (Juniors) who had 
been «>n dnty in the vicinity of Tarboro, Hamilton and Ply- 
niMulh for Sdiiic time, Avere ordered to Bellfield, Virginia. In 
the meantime there had been another company added and 
several changes otherwise. In Company G were several Pitt 
boys, and S. V. Laughinghouse and J. E. Clark were First 
iind Second Lieutenants; Ilugh Murray, Second Lieutenant 
of Company A ; Captain Anderson, Company 11, had become 
transferred to the regulars, and J. J. Laughinghouse was 
Captain. Aii-iving at Bellfield, they drove the Federals sev- 
eral miles and prevented them cutting the railroad, for which 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY, 



153 



the legislature of i^orth Cai:oliiia gave them a special vote of 
thanks. They were soon sent to Goldsboro, 

It was now seen that the Federals intended an attack on 
Fort Fisher, below Wilmington, and the Eighth was sent to 
Wilraino-toiJ, bv wav of Danville. The Seventeenth reached 
Wilmington on thp 24th and marched to Fort Fisher. The 




^ CAPT. J. J. LAUGHINGHOUSE. 

day before an attack had been made and the Federals had suc- 
ceeded in making a landing. The Seventeenth was in the 
tight that drove them Ijack to their ships. For two days the 
forts were then attacked by land and sea bv one of the most 
powerful fleets, but had mot a i-esistance from an inferior 
force that made them take to their boats and sail away. The 
forts and land forces had made a gallant defense and the Sev- 
enteenth had nobly performed its part of that duty. 



154 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO. 



Deeds of Darixg by Harris and Bland — Losses and Pro- 
motions — Around Petersburcj — Fall or Fort Fisher 
— Wise's Fork — Southwest Creek — Bentonsville — 
Juniors — Struggling Against Odds. 

Two ''deeds of daring" during this attack on Fort Fisher 
are worthy of perpetuation in history. They were those of 
Taylor Harris and C. C. Bland. 

That General Butler attempted to destroy the forts by ex- 
ploding the steamship Louisiana with 250 tons of powder 
about half a mile from the fort is well known, but that an- 
other powder scheme failed because the fuse was extinguished 
by a private soldier at the risk of his life, is not. Another 
ship or barge floating in to the shore at the fort attracted at- 
tention. It was nearing the shore when three soldiers from 
the fort swam out to it to see what it could be. Taylor Har- 
ris was first to reach it. Climbing aboard he found a lighted 
fuse just sputtering in some scattered powder and in a second 
or more it would be in the bidk of powder. Quickly blocking 
the way of the fuse with both hands he threw it overboard. 
It was a dangerous and daring act. He had to wade knee 
deep in the powder to get to the fuse and expected all to be 
blown up before he could reach it. Thus was an evident 
sister attempt to the Louisiana foiled, which, being much 
nearer the fort, would have done much more damage. 

On the 24th, the garrison flag was shot away from its staff. 
The only way to get it back was to climb the pole and replace 
it. Volunteers were called for. C. C. Bland, Company K, 
Thirty-sixth regiment went forward, mounted the ramparts, 
seized the flag and began climbing the pole amid a hail of 
shot and shell. Reaching the top, he tied the flag to the pole 
and began descending. About half wav down, he was called 
to, that the flag did not float right. I^okiug up he saw it 
was tied by one corner only. Climbing up again, he took 



tsKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 155 

off his cravat and tied the other corner to the pole and de- 
scended. When some way down he was called to, to ''look 
out for that shell." Looking to sea he saw the shell, seem- 
ingly coming directly at him. He clung as closely as possible 
to the pole while the shell went by, its breeze fanning his face. 
He was missed. He was safe. Taking his place in the 
ranks, be fors^ot the incident in the excitement of the defense. 
Later he was wounded and lost a leg. He is still living, an 
honored citizen and a worthy minister of the Primitive 
Baptists. 

The JSTew Year, 1865, dawned rather gloomy for the cause 
of the Confederacy. Yet there was no loss of zeal for the 
cause. The South had suffered in the loss of thousands of 
its best and bravest men. The army had lost half of those 
wlio had enlisted, while there was no field for recruits. The 
North had lost as heavily, but had the world for recruiting, 
and they had more than a million veterans in the field. Pitt 
County had lost manv of its best and noblest sons. Great 
changes had been made in companies and their officei-s. Many 
fell on the bloody fields, some died in hospitals and many 
were then in Northern prisons. Lieutenants C. D. Kountree 
and E. A. Moye, who had been acting Captains of Company 
G, Eighth Eegiment, after the wounding of Captain Hines, 
were in prison; Lieutenant Eason died in the hospital and 
Lieutenants G. W. Parker and Thomas King, who had been 
acting Captains of Company D, Forty-fourth Regiment, had 
been wounded, (Parker losing a leg and King being mortally 
wounded, dying soon,) and J. T. Williams had been pro- 
moted Captain from Company E, Twenty-seventh Regiment ; 
Lieutenant J. M. White had succeeded C. A. White as Cap- 
tain of Company E, Sixty-seventh Regiment ; Brigadier- 
General Grimes was acting Major-General and soon to be 
commissioned, and many minor officers, lieutenants, ser- 
geants, and corporals, had met death with their faces to 
the enemy. There was many a vacant chair and sad home 
in Pitt, and mourning for loved ones who would never re- 



15() SKETCHES OF I'lTT COUNTY. 

turn. J3iit they were patriots, every one of them patriots, 
and ready to make even greater sacrifices. Thus the wai- 
went on.. But the end was drawing nearer. 

The year opened with the Twenty-seventh, Forty-fnurth, 
Fifty-fifth and some other regiments doing duty in the 
trenches around Petersburg and Richmond, with the Eighth 
and Seventeenth around Wilmington and vicinity, and some 
others scattered over the east. 

On January 13th, the Federals began the second bombard- 
ment of Fort Fisher. All day and night the fight raged on 
the 14th and loth, when the Federals captured the fort, at 
10 ]). in. Then followed the next few weeks some desultory 
fishtino' in which the Confederates would fall back towards 
Wilmington, and finally abandoned it. In all this fio-hfinu' 
the Eighth and Seventeenth were constantly engaged. 

At Wise's Fork, near Kinston, March Sth, Hoke's Division 
met the Federals and after some hard fighting, captured 1,000 
prisoners and four jneces of artillery. The Seventeenth, 
Sixty-seventh and Sixty-eighth regiments and Junior Keserves 
were in this fight. The Seventeenth was on the right in ad- 
vance and had the heaviest fighting. At Southwest Creek 
next day the Sixty-seventh and Sixty-eighth had some losses 
and were in the brigade which captured 700 prisoners. The 
Seventy-first (Juniors) were in the center and drove every- 
thing back in front of thoui, for which General Hoke person- 
ally complimented them. Next day, the Seventeenth, not 
understanding orders made an assault under the heaviest fire 
ever experienced by the brigade, reached the Federal works 
and held them until ordered to retreat. It claimed that as 
the only fight in which it was ever repulsed. These regiments 
now iiio\ed towards Goldsboro and in a fight west of that 
]»lace. llic division attacked a force of 35,000 Federals, driv- 
in<: them l)ack and ca])turing three guns and 000 prisoners. 
'Hiis was on the lOtli. At Bcntonvillo, the Seventy-first. 
(Juniors) were in tlie thickest of the fight and did gallant 
sf'i'\ice. 



SKETCHES OF I'ITT COUNTY. 15" 



CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE. 



Lee's Lines Bkoken at Petersbukg — Retreat — Inci- 
dents — Johnston and Sherman — Appomattox — Last 
Charge — Surrender — Johnston Surrenders to Sher- 
man — Pitt's Parole at Appomattox — Men Furnished 
— Officers. 

Around Petersbiu-g and Richmond the end was approach- 
ing. April 1st General Sheridan avenged his reverses of the 
day before, and on the 2d, General Lee's lines around Pe- 
tersburg were broken. On the 3d the retreat towards Appo- 
mattox began. On this retreat the Twenty-seventh reorgan- 
ized. It had only ^0 men and formed two companies. LI. 
F. Price, former Captain of Company H, became First Ser- 
geant of one company; R. W. Joyner, Company E, became 
First Lieutenant; McG. Ernul became Second Sergeant from 
First Lieutenant, Company E. Near Rice's Station the Twen- 
ty-seventh and Forty-eighth regiments, both just ninety-four 
muskets strono- drove the Federals from the rear of the main 
line and had a skirmish with a brigade of cavalry, in which 
they lost some of their provision wagons, which made rations 
shoi-t that night, there being just one quart of corn per man. 
Fried corn became a luxury. 

At home, General Johnston was retreating before Sherman, 
and there was little fighting. The Seventy-first Regiment 
was with him. On the 6th was a day of rest and parade. 
The Seventy-first was the largest in the parade. 

Appomattox was reached on the evening of April 8th, and 
the next morning General Lee found his 10,000 weary, hun- 
gry and worn-out soldiers with 40,000 Federals in his front 
and 25,000 in his rear. Yet Major-General Grimes did not 
want to surrender. That morning with his small division he 
had driven the Federals from General Lee's front and opened 
the road to Lynchburg for the wagons. To his surprise he 
received orders to retire, which he for some time refused to 



158 SKETCHES Oi<' PITT COUNTY. 

obey, until they came frpm General Lee. Then he withdrew, 
without any disorder. Once more the Federals rushed as if 
to overwhelm him, when Brigadier-General Cox's brigade of 
his division, with a deadly volley, drove them back. This 
was the last shot fired at Appomattox. In Cox's Brigade was 
the Third Eegiment in which eighty-one men from Pitt 
County went to the front. Only four were paroled at Appo- 
mattox. General Lee surrendered. The sun of the Confed- 
eracy had gone down. 

In North Carolina General Shennau was in pursuit of 
General Johnston, and on the 18th General Johnston surnn- 
dered near Durham, but the terms were not finally determined 
till the 2Gth. May 2d, the Seventy-first Regiment (Juniors) 
were paroled and left for their homes. ^^ 

Appomattox showed terrible losses during the war. Some- 
thing may be seen of them by seeing the list of those paroled 
who were from Pitt : . . 

Company E, Twenty-seventh, left home with 112 officers 
and men; only IG were there to be paroled. H left with 
about 100; only 4 were there. 

Company B, Thirt}- -third, had 26 men from Pitt. Only 
5 were there. 

In the Forty-fourthj Company C left with 111, only 8 were 
there. D left with 93, only 10 were there. I left witli 1 1 !, 
only 1 was there. 

Company E, Fifty-fifth, left with 85, only 9 were thei-o. 

Tlio losses in other companies in other regiments in other 
fiehls, were equally as great. The loss in property was 
equally as alarming. 

By the Census of 1860 Pitt County had a male white popu- 
lation between twenty and sixty years of age, of 1,521. 
It furnished more than that many men for the Confederate 
armies and military duties. An incomplete roster shows: 

Second Begiiiiciil 20 men. 

Third, D, 01 ; E, 19; others 1) 81 men. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 159 

Eighth, (G 131, surrendered 3 men at Greensboro) 131 men. 

Ninth - - 15 men. 

Tenth, (H 14, others 10). — 21 men. 

Seventeenth, (B 15, K' 118, others 2)-. 135 men. 

Twenty-seventh, (E 1J2, only four tit for duty 
after Sharpsbnrg, 1(3 at Appomattox; II 100, 14 

at Appomattox) 212 men. 

Thirty-third, (B) 26 men. 

Fortieth 14 men. 

Forty-first 22 men. 

Forty-fourth, (C 111, D 93, I 98, others 6) 308 men. 

Fifty-fifth, (E) ". 88 men. 

Sixty-first 19 men. 

Sixty-seventh, (D 22, E 72, G 40, K 19, others 9).. 162 men. 

Seventy-first, (H 19,othersl) — (Junior Reserves) 20 men 

Seventy-fifth, (II IT, I 5) 22 men. 

Other reo;iments .. 28 men. 

Others 27 men. 

Fifth Battalion 6 men. 

Eleventh Battalion, (I 13, others 8) 21 men. 



Total 1,376 men. 

These do not include any enlistments and recruiting and 
conscripting for the fall of 1863, or later. Pitt must have 
furnished near 2,000 men. 

Strange to say, the man who rose highest was a man who 
w"as in command of a regiment, the Fourth, that did not have 
a Pitt County man in it. Bryan Grimes entered the service 
as Major of that regiment, preferring it to Major of the 
Second Cavalry, or Lieutenant-Colonel of the Eighth, because 
of his lack of military training, and the superiority of its 
Colonel, who was a West Point graduate. By skill and 
bravery he won his promotions to Lieutenant-Colonel, Col- 
onel, Brigadier-General and Major-General. 

Other regimental officers were: 



100 SKETCHES OF I'lTT COUN'l'V. 

E. C. Yellowly, promoted from Captain of Company G, to 
Major of Eighth; and later Lieutenant-Colonel of Sixty- 
eighth. 

C. J. O'llagan, Assistant Surgeon Ninth to Surgeon 
Thirty-fifth. 

G. W. Johnson, from Captain of Tar Kiver Boys to Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel of Seventh Volunteers. 

J. S. Dancy, Assistant Quartermaster Seventh Volun- 
teers. 

G. B. Singeltary, from Captain of Company LI, Twenty- 
seventh, to Colonel. Later he was Colonel of the Fort^- 
fourth. 

R. W. Singeltary, from Lieutenant of LI, Twenty-seventh, 
to Captain and Lieutenant-Colonel. 

T. C. Singeltary, from jMajor to Lieutenant-Colonel of 
TAventy-seventh. 

Dr. Wyatt M. Bi-owmi, Surgeon Seventh Volunteers, to 
chairman State Board of Examining Surgeons. 

'] . A. Jackson, Adjutant; W. L. Cherry, Assistant Quarter- 
master; Ahriim Cox, Commissary; L). F. Whitehead, Com- 
missary ; Dr. J. N. Bynum, Surgeon, and J. H. Johnson, 
Major, all of the Forty-fourth. 

J. T. Whitehead, Major of the Fifty-fifth. 

W. C. Jordan, Assistant Quartermaster of the Sixty-sixth. 

Tlici-c wcro others who held promotions without commis-' 
sions, among them being L. "R. Anderson, Captain of Com- 
I^any D. I"'orly-fonrfli. who was in command of the regiment 
wlicii he \v;i^ killed. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



161 



CHAPTEK THIETY-FOUR. 



''Wheelers" — Dupkee Kills Federal — Amnesty — 
HoLDEN Provisional Governor — Delegates to Con- 
vention — Acts — Worth Elected Governor — School 
Matters — War-time School Books — Curious Lessons. 

FolloAving the surrender of General Lee, the assassination 
of President Lincoln spread consternation over the South. 




general BRYAN GRIMES. 

Four years of war and its evils and hardships had demoral- 
ized the country, and in the wake of the great armies of Gen- 



11 



102 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

eral Slienuau and General Johnston were following a band 
cf marauders. As those two great armies turned from Ben- 
touville northwestward, some of these, calling themselves 
Wheeler's Cavalry because, perhaps, a few of them may- 
have at some time claimed the honor of belonsiuff to that 
division of cavalry, in General Johnston's army, under Gen. 
Joe Wheeler, invaded some eastern counties. The Falkland 
and I'armville sections suffered from their raid, many horses, 
much provisions and some other property being taken by 
them. 

They were followed by a similar class from the Federal 
army. These ''blue coats" were looked upon as having some 
authority, but the people could not submit to robbery. One 
of them went to the home of Thomas Dupree, near Falkland, 
and was trying to get a horse. Dupree warned him under 
penalty of his shot-gun to let his horse alone. The "blue 
coat" paid no heed to that warning. Dupree drew his gun; 
the other his pistol. The pistol snapped, but the gun fired, 
and the 'blue coat' lost an ear. The second shot killed him 
on the spot. Dupree had him buried where it was convenient. 
A few days later others came, among them a brother of the 
one killed. They were looking for Mr. Dupree, who could 
not be found. They took the body of their dead one away 
with them. Mr. Dupree was never punished for defending 
his ])roperty. It is claimed that others were treated some- 
what ill like manner before such robbery ceased. But for 
some time yet there was little semblance of law and order or 
protection to life and property. 

Mav 29th President Johnson issued his Proclamation of 
Amnesty, granting pardon, principally, to the citizens of the 
South who had occupied no conspicuous position or high rank, 
in the war, on condition that they take the prescribed oath 
of loyalty to the Union. W. W. Ilolden was appointed 
Provisional Governor of North Carolina. Some kind of a re- 
organization of the State government followed, and an elec- 
tion for a convention to meet in October was called. Pitt 



^ SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 163 

sent to that convention Churchill Perkins and W. S. Hanra- 
han. This convention repudiated secession, the great debt 
caused by the war, and also slavery. 

The election held JSTovember 7th resulted in the election of 
Jonathan Worth, Governor, over Provisional Governor Hol- 
den, by a vote of 32,529 to 25,807. North Carolina was 
virtually back in the Union and elected John Pool and W. A. 
Graham, Senators, to represent it in the United States Senate. 
But they were not admitted. Other indignities were also 
in store for its people, though there was now a semblance of 
rest and law. 

During the war education had not been neglected in Pitt. 
In most communities were to be found young ladies who had 
had the advantages of a high school or college education, and 
such taught the neighborhood schools, while the men were in 
the field. During the last year of the war many boys left 
these "old field" schools and became soldiers. With the close 
of the war educational matters again received attention. In 
March. 1865, the superintendents authorized their chairman, 
James Murray, to collect "such drafts and at such times as he 
may need the funds," and an educational interest again 
awakened. 

Some of the school-books of the later war period are curi- 
osities to-day. Such a one is "The Dixie Elementary Speller," 
printed on home-made, dingy brown paper, with a few an- 
tiquated cuts, by Mrs. M. B. Moore. Its reading lessons are 
worthy of notice. Here is the temperance lesson : 

"A boy must not drink a dram. Drams will make a boy's 
face red. The boy who drinks drams is apt to make a sot. 
A sot is a bad man, who drinks all the drams he can get. A 
sot is apt to be bad to his wife and babes. No one loves a 
man who gets drunk and beats his wife and babes. Girls 
must not fall in love with boys who drink drams. But some 
girls drink drams too. For shame ! I hope I may not 
see so sad a sight. ISTow, if a sot gets a wife who loves 
drams they will both get drunk, and a sad pair they will 



164 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

be." This is a lesson of patriotism: "This sad war is a 
bad thing. My papa went and died in the army. My big 
brother went too, and he got shot. A bombshell took his 
head off. My aunt had three sons and all have died in 
the army. Now she and the girls have to work for bread. 
I will work for mamma and sisters. " * * But if I 
were a man and the law said I must go to war I would not 
run away like some do. * * * I would sooner die at my 
post than desert. And if ray papa had run away, and been 
shot for it, how sad I must have felt all my life." 

"The Geographical Eeader for the Dixie Children" is in- 
teresting. It treats of America only, with the Confederate 
States as the principal country. After the usual introduc- 
tory of latitude, longitude, zones, races, etc., it proceeds to a 
description of countries. After scoring the North ov slavery, 
it proceeds: "In the year 18G0 the abolitioni ne 

strong enough to elect one of their men for President * /t^^^m.' 
ham Lincoln was a weak man, and the South • : | 

would allow laws to be made which would depr" ' KmhoV 
llicir rights. So the Southern States seceded. - 

Thonsands of lives have been lost, and the ea ned 

with l)lood ; but still Abraham has been unable t( ^.ler the 
'Rebels' as he calls the South." 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 1G5 



CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE. 



War-time School Books — Geographical Reader for 
Dixie Children — Description of the State — Its 
People — Patriotic — South Carolina — Review — 
Questions and Answers — Confederate Prowess 
Taught. 

Of the Southern Confederacy this ''Geographical Reader 
for Dixie Children," says, in part : ''This is a great country. 
The Yankees thought to starve us out when thev sent their 
ships to our seaport t0"vvns. But we have learned to make 
many things, and to do without many others, and above all 
to trust in the smiles of the God of battles. We had few 
guro, 1'**^le ammunition, and not much of anything but food, 
^( .^"a/i f tobacco ; but the people helped themselves and God 
people. We were considered an indolent, weak 
' 'li; our enemies have found us strong, because we 



L^ 



Oi \'>d 



ivr 



' on our side. 



ithern Confederacy is at present a sad country; 
but at Davis is a good and wise man, and many of 

the geneiaxS and other officers in the army are pious. Then 
there are many good, praying people in the land ; so we may 
hope that our cause will prosper. 'When the righteous are 
in authority, the nation rejoiceth ;. but when the wicked bear 
rule the nation mourneth.' Then remember, little boys, 
when you are men, never to vote for a bad man to govern the 
country." 

Its mao of North Carolina and South Carolina gives very 
little inf..rmation. Tar River is put down as "Taw" River. 
Neither Greenville, Tarboro, Washington, Wilson, nor Wil- 
liamston appear. Kinston is spelled "Kingston". The 'fol- 
lowing are extracts from what it says of the State: "South 
of Virginia, we find another large State, called North Caro- 
lina. * * * The soil of about half the State is good, 
but much of the other is so thin that those who live on it are 



IGG SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

very poor. The swamp lands in the east are very fertile. 
The west is suited to grazing — ^we mean by this, grass grows ' 
well, and cattle are easily raised. * * * Newbern was 
a pleasant town, but the enemy have spoiled it, and driven 
away the people. * * * The city of Ealeigh, near the 
middle of the State, is the capital. This is often called 'The 
City of Oaks.' 

''The people of this State are noted for their honesty, and 
for being 'slow but sure.' ISTo braver men fought in the war 
for independence than those from North Carolina. While 
some few cowards refused to fight for their country, it is a 
notable fact, that nearly all of them, were of the ignorant 
class, and many of them did not know what patriotism was. 
We should feel as much pity for them as contempt, because 
they had not been properly taught. 

"Education was much neglected in the Old North State, 
until within a few years past. She now has as many good 
schools and colleges as any sister State. Good people are 
now building up schools to educate the children of poor sol- 
diers who are killed in the war. Nearly every child can get 
an education here if he will be industrious. Who will be 
ignorant ?" 

Of South Carolina it says : "This was the iirst to secede. 
Many persons blamed the South Carolinians for leaving the 
Union too soon ; but it may have been best ; it is impossible 
for us to decide. The war would have come, sooner or later. 
God usually punishes wicked nations by war. I mean by 
this that when people become too wicked He gives them over 
to hardness of heart to work out their own punishment, and 
sometimes destruction. How much better for all to be good." 

The "Second Part" is a "Review" with questions and an- 
swers. After many of the usual common geogi-aphy ques- 
tions are found others, of which the following are specimens : 

If the people of the United States had always elected good 
juen for rulers what would have been the result ? 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 167 

A. We should have had no war. 

Q. Why? 

A. Because every man would have been willing to treat 
others justly, and there would have been no cause for war. 

Q. Are these judgments for our sins alone? 

A. They are partly for our sins and partly for the sins of 
our forefathers. 

Q. Then how shall we expect peace, since sin has brought 
war? 

A. We must repent of our sins, and ask God to bless our 
efforts to defend our country. 

Q. Why? 

A. Because if God be for us who shall be against us ? 

Perhaps the ''War Time" arithmetic was the queerest book 
of all when the nature of its examples is considered. They 
were patriotic and intended to show the superiority of the 
Confederate soldier in battle and inspire the learner with 
enthusiasm and pride for his countrymen. Among them 
such as the following were common : 

"If twelve Confederates kill sixteen Yankees and the Yan- 
kees kill three Confederates, how many were killed in all ?" 
"If a squad of twenty-three Confederates capture forty-nine 
Yankees and another squad of thirty-eight Confederates cap- 
ture sixty-seven Yankees, how many Yankees did both squads 
capture ?" 

"If nine Confederates attack twenty-five Yankees and kill 
seventeen of them, how many of the Yankees were not 
killed ?" 

"If one Confederate can whip three Yankees, how many 
Yankees can eleven Confederates whip ?" 

"If one Confederate can guard seven Yankee prisoners, 
how many Confederates will it take to guard eighty-four 
Yankee prisoners ?" 

"If two companies of Confederates can whip six companies 
of Yankees, how many companies of Confederates will it take 
to whip thirty-six companies of Yankees ?" 



168 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

Such examples and teachings filled the boys' hearts with 
patriotic pride and made that longing to emulate the prowess 
of their countrymen in battle, which rushed many a school- 
boy to the army, and too often to an unkno\vn grave in a 
strange land. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY, 



1G9 



CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX. 



Carpetbaggees — Legislature of 1866 — PEisrsioisrs — Thir- 
teenth Amendment — Reconstruction — Military 
Government — Cotton Planter — Education — Willis 
Briley Murdered — Two of the Murderers Hanged 
— Negro Militia — Laflin and Rich — Misguided Mis- 
sionaries. 

With the new government in force, there was some pros- 
pects of better times, but considering the South their legiti- 
mate prev, carpet-baggers and other adventurers began com- 




WILLLS ROBERT WILLIAMS. 

ing. At first their influence was little felt, but it was later 
to become worse than a nightmare. Pitt was receiving them. 
In the legislature of 1866, were Churchill Perkins, in the 
Senate, and W. R. Williams and John Galloway, in the 
House. It is a fact not to be forgotten, that in this legisla- 
ture W. R. Williams introduced a bill to pension the North 



170 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

Carolina < nfederato soldiers. The bill, however failed to 
pass. It IS the first effort of its kind in the South. 

The "" rteenth Amendment had been ratified by all the 
Souther ^tates except Texas, but the Fourteenth was re- 
jecteqi .fi'Veral and early in 1867 the woes of the conqueror 
bega- t^^Jje visited upon the South. Congi-ess, over Presi- 
dent Johnson's veto, passed a bill for "reconstructing" the 
South. By it our State government was abolished and a mil- 
itary government established, with General Canby at its head. 
In October an election was held for members of a convention. 
Under General Canby's orders and the Fourteenth Amend- 
ment, many of the best white people were disfranchised and 
the negroes allowed to vote. Under this government Pitt 
sent to that convention Byron Laflin and D. J. "'~''"h, two 
carpet-baggers. 

Even under these conditions Pitt was progressing. In 
July of 1867 a patent for a cotton-planter was granted Capt. 
Bryant Smith, of Falkland Township. It was f ^■•'^volution 
in cotton planting. 

This cotton-planter was a great invention, ana Dn- 

ized cotton planting in Captain Smith's sectiu^. Several 
years later J. C. Cox secured patents for some improvements 
and in a few years the Cox planter was sold over tne entire 
South. ( 

The superintendents of education met in September. It 
seems to have been the first meeting since March, 1S65. The 
members were James Murray, chairman; Jesse ISfobles, 
Henry Stancill, W. K. Williams, John Daniel, Caleb Cannon, 
and James W. May. The chairman's bond was fixed at 
$100. There were thirty-nine districts and the committees 
were appointed. 

The presence of many carpet-baggers, and their fondness 
for the negro, and their exaltation of him, had bad effect on 
the negroes. They were making themselves odious to th^ 
white people and were also becoming common criminals. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



171 



'if 



r 

Such must in part account for the murder of ¥'"^Uis Briley 
on the night of December 23d, 1867. 

On that night a lot of negroes went first to the he 
Ham McArthur, near Ballard's Cross-Roads, we** 
house and took him prisoner. While they were p 
house he escaped. Without doing harm to the 
taking anything they left and went to Willis Briley's, at the 
Cross-Roads. There they went in, made him a prisoner, and 



'• of Wil- 
nto the 

:vtg the 

fin/t'Jy or 



■1 ' 






■^ 




^ / 



NORTH CAROLINA'S FIRST NEGRO JUROR 

(Sketched by the late Judge W. B. Rodman, when holding the August 1867, 
Pitt County Superior Court. 

proceeded to pillage the house. During this he escaped, being 
shot at. Later he was found under his buggy shelter, where 
he was shot, dying instantly. In the meantime McArthur 
had gone to a neighbor's, got a gun and returned. Finding 
the negroes at Briley's, he fired on them, when they ran, leav- 
ing a lot of things they were preparing to take away. Their 
object was robbery, as it was thought that McArthur and 
Briley had much money. 



172 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

Richard Jackson, Xeedham Evans, Toney Kittrell and. 
John Miller, were soon thereafter arrested, charged with be- ' 
ing of the party that did the murder. Governor Worth or- 
dered a special term of court for their trial January 4th, 
Monday, 1868. Judge E. J. Warren presided. True bills 
were found against them aiid also Curtis Cogsdell and l^ed 
Blount, Curtis for the murder and the others for aiding and 
abetting. Curtis and Ned were never caught. Miller turned 
State's evidence and got twelve months in jail for robbery. 
Toney was not convicted. Richard Jackson and Needham 
Evans were convicted and hanged February 14th. Some 
years later John Miller was found hanging by his neck from 
the Snow Hill Bridge. 

1868 saw many changes for the worse. ]^ew laws were 
made that changed many old customs. All able-bodied men 
between the ages of twenty-one and forty years were liable to 
military duty, and under this law a negro militia was organ- 
nzed. H. L. Smith was colonel of the Pitt militia. Byron 
Laflin was aide to Governor Holden with the title of Colonel. 
In the legislature were D. J. Rich, in the Senate, and Byron 
Laflin and Richard Short in the House. Dr. C. J. O'Hagan, 
Democrat, was beaten for Congress this year by Joseph 
Dixon, Republican, of Greene County, by a vote of 12,333 to 
14,076. 

The years 1868-9 were years of corruption and plundering 
of the State's treasury. The "Report of the Fraud Commis- 
sion" reveals that all parties had a hand in the plundering, 
but the carpet-baggers stole everything they could. General 
Estes admitted that he paid Dcweese $2,500 to be divided be- 
tween Deweese and Laflin, for securing Laflin's vote and in- 
fluence on a bill ])roviding for the issue of $1,000,000 of 
bonds to the Wilmington, Charlotte and Rutherford Railroad. 
Laflin was one of Pitt's carpet-bagger members. There were 
many negroes in these legislatures and many sold out, with 
their carpet-bagger friends, on all occasions. 

The enfranchised negroes were everywhere feeling their 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 173 

importance and, aided and abetted by their new friends, were 
giving much trouble. On all occasions of big gatherings they 
were conspicuous and often insulting. Clashes and fights 
were not as frequent as they might have been, the forbearance 
of the whites preventing such when possible, ^egro ofiicers 
and soldiers were thick over the country, and justice was a 
farce. Many of the citizens were frequently charged with 
some offense and had to go before such courts for trial. ISTo 
people ever submitted to more and worse government than 
did many of the Southern States, some counties of iSTorth 
Carolina and sometimes in Pitt. Among those who did per- 
haps the most harm were those so-called missionaries, male 
and female ^Northerners, who taught the negroes that they 
were the equals in every respect of their former masters. 
Their motives might have been better than the results. 



174 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN. 



RiDDicK Carney — Attempt to Capture — Federal Lieu- 
tenant Killed — Second Attempt to Capture — 
Major Lyman and Negro Militia — Two Negroes 
Killed — Both Carneys Die — Horrible Tragedy — Ku 
Klux — Negro Officers — Specimens. 

Like Jefferson Davis, some men were never reconstructed, 
and jet, unlike him, died with their boots on. Such a man 
was Riddick Carnej, who lived about eight miles northeast 
of Greenville, just across Grindle Creek. His oldest son, 
James H. Carney, was killed in the war. This was his favor- 
ite son and the loss seemed to have had gi'eat effect upon him, 
embittering him against all Federals and their authority. He 
was charged with defying the new order of things and cruelty 
to negroes. For a long time the Federal authorities could not 
arrest him. 

Some time early in 1866 a Federal lieutenant, with a 
squad of soldiers, from Washington, went out one night to 
arrest him and some others implicated with him. Arriving 
there, the house was surrounded and then entered. Only the 
women folks were found. They insisted that the soldiers 
should not go upstairs. The lieutenant took a torch from the 
fireplace and started upstairs. He was met by a load of buck- 
shot and fell back mortally wounded. With Carney upstairs 
at this time were Enoch Moore, a neighbor, and J. T. Ren- 
frew, recently from Georgia, and one or two others, all of 
whom were wanted by the Federals. No other attempt was 
made to go upstairs or get those np there, Iwit taking their 
leader, the soldiers started for Washing-ton. The lieutenant 
died at Pactolus, after having his wound dressed. His whole 
right breast was shot away. The soldiers returned to Wash- 
ington with their leader a corpse. 

On one occasion some Federal officers from Washington, 
on their way to arrest Carney, stopped at Pactolus and told 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 175 

their business. Church Perkins, a wealthy and prominent 
citizen, requested the officers to get supper with him on their 
return. They accepted the invitation and went on after Car- 
ney. This time Carney, Renfrew and Moore were arrested. 
Returning, the officers, with their prisoners, stopped at Per- 
kins' for supper. Just before going out to supper, all again 
partook of liquid refreshments, which had been served freely. 
The officers were feeling good, took another drink and walked 
out for the dining room, as Carney and the others were tak- 
ing theirs. Arriving at the table, Carney and the other pris- 
oners did not show up. Returning to the parlor, the officers 
found an open window, but no Carney, Renfrew and Moore. 
They had escaped, and the officers had supper without them 
and also returned to Washington without them. 

It was some time before another attempt was made to ar- 
rest Carney. Information being had that Carney was at 
home, the next attempt was made on the night before the 
fourth Sunday (26th) of April, 1868. Major Lyman had 
been superintending the Pitt election, with his negro militia, 
and determined to take the Carneys before returning to Golds- 
boro. Major Lyman, with ten negro militia and Sheriff 
Foley, went out a short time before day on the night men- 
tioned. After surrounding the house, their presence was 
made known and Carney ordered to come out and surrender. 
Tn the house at this time were Carney, his wife, his son 
George, his son-in-law, Alonzo Whitehurst and his (White- 
hurst's) wife. Another daughter, Mary, and her governess, 
were away, visiting in the neighborhood. George wanted his 
father to give up, but he said he would die first. Whitehurst 
reported that Carney was not there. 

The house was then attacked and broken into. IMajor 
Lym.an repeated the experiment of the lieutenant on the for- 
mer occasion, tried to go upstairs, and was badly wounded in 
. his left arm. The house was now set afire all around. 
George came downstairs to find a negi'o soldier in the parlor 



176 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



and shot him dead. Another negro soldier, standing in the 
door, raised his gun and shot George. George shot him at 
the same time and both fell dead. George fell in the fire 
and his body was right much burned before his sister was 
allowed or helped to drag it away. Whitehurst, who had 
taken no part in the fight, was badly wounded twice. He 
was gotten from the house, which soon burned do"'Ara, the 
women having been allowed to come out some time before. 



/ 



'"'"'^T fT-TTTr i Tiw ti I 





#^ " -Vii 



,|j£j 



ONE OF THE FIRST TOBACCO BARNS IN PITT COUNTY. 

The last seen of Carney alive was at an upper window, where 
he was apparently trying to get a shot at his besiegers. 

There are so many conflicting tales of that fearful tragedy 
that the facts will never be knoMm. Among the many state- 
ments are that Riddick Carney killed a negro, shooting from 
a window upstairs — that the shot that wounded Major Lyman 
also killed a negro who was behind him — that George Car- 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 177 

ney killed one negro and was shot while in the act of jump- 
ing out of doors, by the negroes outside, etc. 

The house was a complete loss, with all its contents, noth- 
ing 'being saved except the clothes those who escaped wore at 
the time. 

Major Lyman, with his surviving negro militia and Sheriff 
Foley, returned to Greenville that bright Sunday morning, 
bringing his two dead negro militiamen and Whitehurst and 
his wife. Whitehurst was left with the people of Green- 
ville, who attended to his needs and wants, and his wife 
nursed him to recovery. ISTo inquest was held over the Car- 
neys, and no other legal proceedings were ever had in the 
matter, and it all became a thing of the past, though not for- 
gotten. It is said that Major Lyman died soon thereafter 
of his wounds. 

The Ivu Klux Klan had spread to eastern iSTorth Carolina 
at this time and there was an organization in Pitt County. 
There were a number in the Carney neighborhood, and but for 
being slow in receiving notice of Major Lyman's visit, they 
would have wiped out his whole crowd. The leader in 
Greenville found out that the attempt would be made to ar- 
rest Carney, and sent out notice to those of that section, but 
the messengers were too late, as at the same time they were 
giving the notice to protect the Carneys, the news of the 
awful tragedy was heard. Major Lyman was perhaps 
already on his way there when the leader heard of it. Under 
a big persimmon tree, about a hundred yards east of the road, 
less than half a mile from the Carney place, on the south 
side of Grindle Creek, the members of the Ku Klux Klan of 
that section took that iron-clad oath, which, but for the lack of 
little more time, would have made a different tale of the 
Lyman-Carney tragedy. 

This and a few succeeding years were years of negro office- 
holders. There were negro Justices of the Peace, negro con- 
stables, negro tax-listers and various offices filled with negroes. 

12 



178 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

But the carpet-baggers generally reserved those that paid best 
for themselves. 

ISTegro justice was rather strange and often amusing. Two 
illustrations will be interesting: Dennis Atkinson was a 
Justice of the Peace, duly elected at the polls, by a majority 
of those voting. He had many cases. Among them he had a 
white man up for whipping a negro. A big crowd was 
always on hand, though such fights were not uncommon. 
After hearing the evidence, he gave his judgment that the 
white man should pay a fine of fifty dollars and costs, sup- 
plementing the judgment with a wink at the white man that 
was not misunderstood. Court was promptly dismissed and 
the white man called back. Atkinson then told the white 
man that he need not pay the fine or costs, that he had to do 
that way to fool the negroes. And the cost and fine were 
never paid. 

Chance Bernard was a negro constable. Thinking the 
dignity of his ofiice demanded that in executing papers he 
should carry some weapon, and being unable to get anything 
else, when he went out to serve a warrant, he armed himself 
with his grubbing-hoe. And thus he upheld the dignity of 
his office. 

Another negro, elected a Justice of the Peace, went to the 
proper officer to take the prescribed oath, stating that he 
wanted him to "qualify" him. He was told that he could be 
sworn in, but that "all h — 1 couldn't qualify" him_. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 179 

CHAPTEK THIRTY-EIGHT. 



]^iNTH Census — Things Improving — Convention of 
1875 — Delegates — Vance and Jarvis Elected — Jar- 
vis Becomes Governor — Newspapers — Jarvis Elected 
Governor — Latham Elected to Congress — General 
Grimes Assassinated — A Lynching. 

Tlie year 1869 saw carpet-bag rule in its full glory, and Pitt 
County felt its curse. But it was working out its own salva- 
tion,Hhe people adapting themselves to existing conditions as 
best they could. The County was growing in population and 
the soil was rewarding its tillers with plenty. Though 
harassed by many reconstruction ills and evils, yet they did 
not suffer persecution and prosecution like some of the cen- 
tral and western counties. ' The Fourteenth Amendment had 
been forced upon the South and now the Fifteenth was pro- 
posed. As it only gave the negroes the rights that a military 
government had already given them, it was speedily ratified, 
and the negro became a constitutional voter, which only 
added to his woes. 

The Census of 1870 gave Pitt a population of 17,276, as 
follows : 

Township. White. Colored. Total. 

Belvoir 1,178 973 2,151 

California 1,582 2,044 3,626 

Chicod 939 744 1,683 

Contentnea 1,413 • 705 2,118 

Greenville 1,828 2,010 3,838 

Pactolus 911 1,149 2,060 

Swift Creek 1,011 789 1,800 

Total 8,862 8,414 17,276 

Greenville lost heavily of its population as compared with 
that of 1860. It was now only 601, a loss of 227 in ten 

Note. — Before the next census California was divided into Falkland 
and Farmville townships. 



180 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



years. There was yet no other incorporated town in the 
County. 

Military domination still existed and the rumblings of a 
threatened volcanic outburst, though still heard, were grow- 
ing less ominous. The white people were slowly regaining 
their power, and the hopes, so brightened in the expectation 
of the election of Horatio Seymour, as President, in 1868, 
were revived in the nomination of Horace Greeley, in 1872. 
Greeley had been one of the bondsmen of Jefferson Davis and 




COL. W. M. KING. 



had thus made strong friends of the Southern people. His 
defeat was another blow that increased the determination of 
the people to reconstruct themselves and conditions. It was 
a peace plan and its first victory was the calling of the Con- 
stitutional Convention of 1875. Pitt County sent to that 
Convention W. M. King and T. J. Jarvis. King had been 
prominent in local affairs and held several minor offices, 
among them that of County Commissioner. Jarvis had come 
to Pitt from Tyrrell County. He had been a soldier in the 



, SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 181 

Confederate Army, having been Captain of Company B, 
Eighth Eegiment; had represented Currituck in the Con- 
vention of 1865 ; had been a member of the House from Tyr- 
rell in 1868, 1870 and 1872, being Speaker at the latter 
term. ^ 

Louis Hilliard, formerly of Nash, living at Greenville, 
was elected a Superior Court Judge in 1874, but on a con- 
test, W. A, Moore was declared still Judge. Hilliard held 
several courts. 

The campaign of 1876 was a notable one. That year T. J. 
Jarvis was the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Gover- 
nor, on. the ticket headed by Z. B. Vance, and with the whole 
ticket was elected. The Legislature of January, 1879, 
elected Governor Vance to the United States Senate and Lieu- 
tenant Governor Jarvis became Governor. 

During the past few years there had been many newspaper 
ventures in Greenville. The Express, established by L. 
Thomas and Company, in 1877, and bought in February of 
the next year by J. E. and D. J. Whichard, was the only one 
so far with prospects of long life. 

In 1880 Governor Jarvis was the Democratic candidate 
for Governor, and elected. L. C. Latham was the Democratic 
candidate for Congress from this, the First Congressional 
district, and elected. He was from Plymouth. He had 
served in the Confederate army, being promoted from Cap-' 
tain of Company G, First Regiment, to Major of that regi- 
ment. In 1864 he represented Washington County in the 
House, and in 1870 was elected to the Senate from that dis- 
trict. At that session he was President pro tem. He came to 
Greenville in 1875 and was a Tilden presidential elector in 
1876. 

Aug-ust 14th, 1880, General Bryan Grimes was assassi- 
nated, at Bear Creek, very near the Pitt and Beaufort line. 
He was returning from Washington, with Bryan Satter- 
thwaite, a boy about twelve years old, when he was shot from 
' ambush, one shot taking effect, severing an artery. Several 



182 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. « 

others lodged on the wood work of the top of his buggy, but 
none hit Bryan. He died almost instantly. Efforts were at 
once made to track and catch the assassin, but they were not 
then successful. It was found that the assassin stood behind 
a tree in the creek, had cut out an opening to the road, 
through the bush tops, and by this means got a good aim. 
Later William Parker was arrested and tried at Williamston 
for the crime, and after a long trial acquitted. Afterwards 
he practically boasted of the crime, and one morning in 1888, 
when the Washington bridge tender went down early to open 
the draw, for a boat to go* on its trip up the river, he found a 
man hanging from the draw. It was William Parker, He 
had been lynched. 

General Grimes was one of the most skillful, brave and suc- 
cessful fighters produced by the Civil War. Without mili- 
tary experience, he entered the service and successively rose 
from Major of the Fourth Eegiment to Major General. Of W 
him it has been said that "in devotion to duty, in faithfulness 
to every trust, in sincerity of purpose, in dauntless courage, 
in unselfish patriotism — in everything that constitutes a 
noble, generous, true man — ISTorth Carolina has never hon- 
ored a son superior to Bryan Grimes." He was less than 
fifty-two years of age and lies buried in the family cemetery 
at Grimesland. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 183 



CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE. 



Tenth Census — County Towns — Education — Evolu- 
tions OF THE Old Male Academy — Peominent Teach- 
ers — Latham Defeated — Yellowly Dead — Jarvis 
Minister to Brazil — Fine Babies — Earthquake — 
Latham Elected — Railroad. 

The Census of 1880 gave Pitt a population of 21,794, 
10,704 being whites and 11,088 being colored. 'By town- 
ships the population was: 

Belvoir (including Bethel, 127; Penny Hill, 36) 2,593 

Chicod 2,523 

Contentnea 2,069 

Falkland 1,937 

Farmville (including Farmville, 111; Marlboro, 79) ... . 2,497 

Greenville (including Greenville, 912) 4,647 

Pactolus 2,898 

Swift Creek 2,630 

Bethel had been incorporated about seven years before. 
It had been a post-ofRce long before the war, there being two 
stores at Old Bethel, or the cross-roads, and having once-a- 
week mail to Greenville. On the completion of the Albe- 
marle and Raleigh Railroad to Williamston from Tarboro, in 
1882, it began to grow and the business moved nearer the 
depot, and since almost entirely to Railroad street. 

Penny Hill, an important landing on Tar River, was also 
an important business point and recently incorporated. 

Farmville was a new town, between Marlboro and Joyner's 
Cross-Roads, on the south side of Contentnea Creek. Joy- 
ner's had long been a post-oflSce. There was a store and 
blacksmith shop. Marlboro was just a mile south. Antioch 
church had been built between' these places in 1854 and was 
followed by a nice school building three years later. As the 

Note. — Before the next census Belvoir was divided and Bethel formed ; 
Farmville divided and Beaver Dam formed and Pactolus divided and 
Carolina formed. 



184 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

other two places were not as progressive as the spirit of their 
communities, and the war having had its effect upon them, 
a store was built near the school-house. Soon two others 
were built and a prosperous little village resulted by the 
seventies, early in which it was incorporated, and Farmville 
became a town, too. Its progress was steady, and now it is 
one of the best towns in the State. 

Marlboro, which has already been mentioned, was now los- 
ing its importance, and its plankroad was a thing of the 
past. • 

Greenville had made good gi-owth from 1870, but was yet 
a small country town, the boats on the river giving it com- 
munication with the outside world. 

•Educational matters were now improving in the county. 
The public schools, which had at first been looked upbn with 
so much disfavor, were now growing in number, favor and 
attendance. The school-houses were generally good frame 
houses, though not ceiled or plastered, there being but few of 
the old log houses remaining. The old Male Academy, that 
had such a long and honorable career, was under Professor 
W. 11. Ragsdale, who came from Grranville County and was 
destined to do much for the educational interests of the 
County. This was the school chartered in 1786, and which 
had, up to the war, educated young men and women from all 
sections of the country, and ranked with other schools of a 
like and higher grade. Its first home was on the southwest 
corner of Second and Greene streets. Much of the time a 
school for young ladies was taught in connection with it, but 
later became a separate school. The boys were taught in a 
two-story building that had a chimney at each end. The 
girls were taught in a separate building. Besides the great 
"Three Rs" of those days, many of the arts and sciences were 
taught. Among its teachers were many well known to the 
profession and others, who afterwards filled other positions. 
Among them were Professor Lovejoy, James Murray, Dr. 
C. J. O'lTagan, Dr. David R. Wallace, E. J. Warren (after- 



SKETCHES OV PITT COUNTY. 



185 




EX-GOVERNOR T. J. JARVTS. 



186 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

wards Judge) and others. Among the lady teachers were 
Mrs. Dockery, Mrs. Saffre, Mrs. Dimoch, Miss Sallie Ann 
Jones and others. The war interf erred with its progress, 
and for several years after it was not well patronized, but 
under Professor Eagsdale it began to take on new life. 
There were other good schools in the county, among them 
being those of Farmville and Bethel and others, all of which 
were doing good work. 

In 1882 Maj. L. C. Latham was again a candidate for 
Congi-ess, but was defeated by W. F. Pool. 

Col. E. C. Yellowly died at Asheville September 23, 
1883. He had gone there for his health. He was a brave 
soldier, an able 'lawyer and an old-school gentleman. 

After buying the Express, J. P. Whichard changed its 
name to the Reflector, which his brother, D. J. Whichard, 
bought from him in 1885. 

Ex-Governor T. J. Jarvis was appointed Minister to Bra- 
zil by President Cleveland in March, 1885, and soon sailed 
for that country. He was there four years. 

These were prosperous and good times in Pitt, and an ob- 
servant tourist declared that "the county is remarkable for its 
fine babies, both white and colored, and the cofning genera- 
tion will undoubtedly be a marked one in the history of the 
county." 

The year 1886 is still remembered as the earthquake year. 
The first shock was felt about nine o'clock on the night of the 
31st of August. It was quickly followed by two other shocks. 
No damage was done, but it greatly frightened a great many 
people. For some time afterwards shocks were felt, but no 
damage was done. Charleston, S. C, was the center of the 
disturbance, and much damage was done there. 

Maj. L. C. Latham was again a candidate for and elected 
to Congi-ess in 1886. 

The railroad from Scotland Neck to Kinston was finished 
as far as Greenville in 1889, and a regular schedule of trains 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 187 

put on. At first they stopped on the north side of the river, 
as the railroad bridge was not completed. 

The temporary depot was on the Wilson place, a little 
south of the house, and was called Riverton. The work of 
extending the road on to Kinston was nearing completion, 
and soon after the bridge across Tar River was finished and 
trains were running into the present depot, they began a regu- 
lar schedule to Kinston. The train left in the morning and 
came in at night, and large crowds were always on hand when 
it came in, and many would often go over early in the morn- 
ings to see it leave. 

This marked a new era in the history of Greenville, and 
new life and growth took its hold on the town and its people. 



188 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



CHAPTER FORTY. 



Eleventh Census — Gkowtii in Country and Towns — 
More Towns — Education — County Superintendents 
— Tobacco — Market Opened — Farmer Governor — 
Daily Reflector — King's Weekly — Jarvis Appointed 
U. S. Senator — Harry" Skinner Elected to Con- 
gress — Great Fire — Telephones — Skinner Re- 
elected — Latham Dead — Records for Postmasters. 

Pitt County made much progress and development from 
1880 to 1890. Its population showed a good increase and 
also its industries and farming. Its population was now 
25,519. By townships it was as follows: 

Beaver Dam 1,068 

Belvoir 1,340 

Bethel (including Bethel town, 377) 2,068 

Contentnea (including part of Grifton, 107) 2,812 

Carolina 1,324 

Chicod 3,089 

Falkland (including Falkland town, 61) 1.759 

Farmville (including Farmville town, 140; Marlboro, 

92) 1,981 

Greenville (including Greenville town, 1,937) 5,679 

Pactolus (including Pactolus town, 105) 1,768 

Swift Creek (including part of Grifton, 14) 2,631 

By races the population was: white, 13,192; colored, 
12,327. 

Grifton was a new town, recently incorporated. The first 
mention of Grifton is that of "Better's Ferry" about 1755, 
the land thereabout having been "patented" by one Fetters. 
Later it was kno"wn as Blount's Ford or Ferry, then Bell's 
Ferry, a«d later incorporated under the name of Grifton. It 
has the distinction of being in two counties and three town- 
ships; also two congressional and two judicial districts, 
namely, in Contentnea and Swift Creek townships, Pitt 
County, and in Contentnea Neck township, Lenoir. It is in 
the Third and Fifth judicial districts. It is also in two 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



189 



State senatorial districts, the Sixth and Eighth. Two 
sheriffs and three township constables, within their respective 
jurisdictions, as well as the town police, exercise legal author- 
ity in the town. This year the Scotland ISTeck and Kinston 
Railroad was completed to Kinston and a regular train ser- 
vice began. This gave a boom to Grifton. 

This railroad ran through a fine section of country and 
other little towns sprang up along its route. Among them 
were Ayden and Winterville, both of which were destined to 
become of importance in the near future. 

Falkland was a post-office with a daily mail many years 
before the war of 1861-5, with a good business. It is sup- 




GREENVILLE'S FIRST TOBACCO WAREHOUSE. 
(Burned some years ago.) 

posed to have taken its name from Falkland, of Scotland, 
long the home of Scottish kings. It is ten miles northwest of 
Greenville, one mile from Tar River. It was incorporated 
about 1887. 

There had been steady advancement along educational lines 
for some time, and Pitt's educational advantages offered by 
its public schools were good. There was more system about 
the work and more attention to the details. Most of the school- 
houses were now a single room frame building, with heater 
instead of chimney, home-made desks and benches, glass win- 
dows, blackboards and other helps, and many were painted. 



190 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

Taken altogether, it was at that time a great improvement. 
G. B. King was now superintendent, having succeeded Major 
Henry Harding, who had devoted several years to the work. 
His jDredecessor was the late Elder Josephus Latham. Pro- 
fessor W. H. Eagsdale was elected superintendent in 1891. 
For several years Pitt County had now been making to- 
bacco and many of its farmers had taken prizes on the Hen- 
derson, Oxford, Durham, and other markets. A market was 
needed nearer home, and 1891 saw the beginning of the 
market at Greenville. A large crop had been made in 1890 
and a larger crop planted this year. So a stock company was 
organized and the Greenville warehouse built. It was a suc- 
cess, and was followed by other warehouses, till the Green- 
ville market is among the best and largest in the State. 

In 1892 the Washing-ton Branch Pailroad was built. It 
extends from Parmele to Washington, nearly all its length be- 
ing in Pitt. Pactolus is on this road. 

Pactolus was quite an old place, but only recently incorpo- 
rated. It is one mile from Tar Eiver. In 1790 a Greek, by 
the name of Lincoln, settled near there. ^ He was a school 
teacher. About 1810 he named the place Pactolus because 
the land was so fertile and the promise of reward so great, 
after the river Pactolus, in Asia Minor, whose sand was 
mixed with gold, and the country very productive. The first 
store was built about 1840 by Churchill Perkins. Yankee 
Hall was then, as long before, an important shipping point, 
and Pactolus profited and grew on this and its own business. 
The building of the railroad in 1892 gave it new life. 

Oakley, Stokes and Whichard are towns on the Washing- 
ton Branch that have sprung into existence since the building 
of that road. Oakley and Stokes are incorporated. Stokes 
is the largest and doeathe most business, though none has over 
100 population. 

The Farmers' Alliance was now an important factor in 
business and in politics, and Elias Carr, of Edgecombe, was 
nominated and elected Governor. He was a strong Alliance- 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



191 



man, and one of the largest and best farmers in the State, 
being the first farmer elected to- that office in many years. 

In 1894 D. J. Whichard began the publication of the 
Daily Reflector, and Andrew Joyner began the publication of 




HARRY SKINNER 

the Index, a weekly paper. The Index was bought by 
Henry T. King, the next year, and the name changed to 
King's Weekly. 

April 19th, 1894, Governor Carr appointed Ex-Governor 
T. J. Jarvis, a United States Senator to succeed the late 
Senator Z. B. Vance, who had died on the 14th. On the 26th 
Senator Jarvis was in his seat in the Senate, 



192 SKETCHES OF PITT COUKTY. 

In the fall Harry Skinner was a candidate for Congress 
on the Populist ticket, against W. A. B. Branch, who had 
served two terms. Skinner was elected. He came to Green- 
ville from Perquimans, a young man, in 1875. He was a 
member of the Legislature of 1891. 

Maj. L. C. Latham died October 16th, 1895. He was 
born September 11th, 1840. He was one of the ablest law- 
years of the State and a powerful debater on the stump. 

On the night of February 15th (Saturday), 1896, Green- 
ville suffered a disastrous fire. It started in Edmunds' bar- 
ber shop, late that night, and is supposed to have been caused 
by a lamp explosion or incendiary. All buildings on both 
sides of Main street between Third and Fourth streets, ex- 
cept Cherry's and Brown and Hooker's stores and the old 
Dancy building were a total loss. Several buildings on the 
south side of Third street were also burned. The loss was 
near $100,000. 

A system of telephones having been put in Greenville, in 
July the exchange was put in operation. W. S. Atkins and 
D. E. House Avere the owners. It opened with less than one 
hundred 'phones. 

At the fall election Harry Skinner was re-elected to Con- 
gress by a vote of 20,875 to 14,831 for W. H. Lucas, 
Democrat. 

In 1897 J. P. Tingle was elected Superintendent of Public 
Instruction for the County. 

Early in 1898 two post-office changes were made in the 
county that broke records of long time in two families. The 
Pactolus office had been filled by J. J. Eollins and his family 
for over sixty years. On the death of Rollins, T. J. Mobley 
was appointed postmaster. The Falkland post-office had been 
filled by Dr. P. IT. Mayo and some of his family for more 
than forty years. This year J. F. Parker was appointed post- 
master. Falkland had a daily mail from Tarboro to Green- 
ville long before the Civil War. 



SKETCHES OF PITT -COUNTY. 193 



CHAPTER FORTY-ONE. 



Spanish-American War — Greenville Guards — Offi- 
cers — Mustered in at Raleigh — Go to Tybee — 
Storm — Mustered Out — Skinner Defeated — Green- 
ville Fair — Second Great Fire — Tingle Succeeded 
BY Ragsdale — Bryan Grimes Elected Secretary of 
State — Railroad — Telephone Matters — Amend- 
ment — Twelfth Census — Towns — Dr. O'TIagan Dead. 

The people of the United States, and especially those of the 
South, have always sympathized with Cuba in its struggles 
for independence. Therefore, when on the night of the 15th 
of February, 1898, the United States battleship Maine was 
blown up in Havana harbor, while on a friendly visit, 
there was an almost universal cry for war, to avenge the 
death of 264 of her officers and men by that catastrophe. 
War v/as declared the last of April, and in response to the 
call of President McKinley for 125,000 men, the Greenville 
Guards, Pitt's military company, offered its service. How- 
ever, less than half the men actually enlisted and were mus- 
tered into service, but with other enlistment the company had 
a strength of 106 officers and men. It became Company E 
of the Second North Carolina Regiment. Among its officers 
were J. T. Smith, Captain ; J. C. Albritton, First, and E. V. 
Cox, Second Lieutenants ; J. V. Johnston, J. McD. Wind- 
ham and A. D. Johnston, Sergeants ; H. H. Blackley, H. C- 
Fornes, D. S. Moore, W. W. Perkins and J. T. Robey, Cor- 
porals ; H. A. Blow and J. H. Cheek, Musicians ; all from 
Pitt. Captain Smith and Musician Blow were veterans of 
the Confederate army of 1861-5 ; the others were young men. 

The company was mustered in at Raleigh and after six 
weeks of camp instruction the regiment was divided into 
squads and sent on duty to various points south. Two com- 
panies, A and E, were sent to Tybee Island, Georgia, under 
command of Maj. W. T. Wilder. While at Tybe'e Island: 
13 



194 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

they had no greater experience than that of one of the severest 
storms known on the coast, which blew many tents down and 
away, and caused the loss of m'lich property, but no lives. 
They never reached Cuba, nor were they ever blood-bathed. in 
the battle's fury, for theirs was the misfortune to never be 
allowed to conquer the valiant foe, their services not being 




J. BRYAN GRIMES. 

needed in Cuba. So they were finally given a thirty days 
furlough, at the end of which they assembled at Tarboro and 
were mustered out the latter ])art of November. 

At the fall election Harry Skinner was again a candidate 
(for a third terra) for Congi-ess, but was beaten by J. H. 
Small, by a vote of 19,732 to 18,263. 

This was also the year of Greenville's first fair. An asso- 
ciation had l)een formed and ground secured from J. L. 
Moore for the purpose. • A race course was laid off and build- 
ings erected. The fair was well advertised and well attended. 
The racing was very good and the exhibits would have done 
credit to a greater occasion. Tt was a success, but was not 



i 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 195 

repeated, though the grounds were used for races several 
years afterwards. 

Greenville suffered another great fire in May, 1899. It 
started in an upper room, over Cheek's bar, the origin being 
unknown. South of Fourth street all buildings on the east 
side of Main street were burned as far as the James Long 
store; on the west side all were burned as far as the Bank of 
Greenville ; several others on Fourth street were also burned. 
The loss was about $100,000. 

In July the commissioners elected Prof. W. H. Ragsdale 
County Superintendent to succeed J. E. Tingle. 

In 1900 J. Bryan Grimes was nominated by the Democrats 
for the office of Secretary of State and elected by a vote of 

to for Dr. C. Thompson. He is the first 

native Pitt County son to occupy so high a position in our 
State government. 

The East Carolina Railroad, from Tarboro, was completed 
to Farmville in 1900. It was originally a lumber road, run- 
ning out south from Tarboro, but its president, H. C. Bridg-' 
ers, concluded to make a freight and passenger road and ex- 
tended it. 

The Carolina and Virginia Telephone Company bought out 
the Greenville Telephone Company, from Atkins and House, 
this year and greatly increased its facilities for business, and 
extended it by building more country lines. 

This ,vear was known as the Amendment Year, the last 
legislature having passed an act to submit an amendment, 
for the purpose of disfranchising the negroes, to the people 
at an August election. It was a warm campai^ and the 
matter was agitating the people in every county. The sum- 
mer was a season of speech-making all over the State. It was 
ratified by a large majority, the vote in Pitt being 3,414 for 
2,042 against. 

The Census of 1900 gave Pitt a population of 30,889. 
By races it w'as: white, 15,397; colored, 15,49?> 



196 SKETCHES OF PITT COUXTY. 

By townships it was : 

Beaver Dam 1,;{12 

Belvoir 1,342 

Botliel ( inchuling Bethel town, 457 ) 2,279 

Carolina 1.<j04 

Chicod (inchulino: Grimesland, 277) 3,721 

Contentnea ( including Ayden, 557 ; part of Grifton, 

200 ; and Winterville, 229 ) 4,047 

Falkland ( including Falkland town, 139) 2,139 

Farniville (including Farmville town, 262) 2,361 

Greenville (including Greenville town, 2,565) 7,323 

Pactolus (including Paetolus town, 52) 1,679 

Swift Creek (including part of Grifton, 29) 3,082 

Grimesland was first known as jSTelsonville and became a 
post-office under that name in 1885, when it was only a cross- 
roads, with one or two small stores. In 1887 the name was 
changed to Grimesland, in honor of General Bryan Grimes. 
In 1893 it was incorporated, and since has had a remarkable 
growth in business and population. 

Ayden was laid out and named in 1890, on the lands of 
W. H. Harris. It became a place of importance, being on 
the railroad and in the midst of a fine farming section. In 



^& 



addition to business gTowth it soon became the seat of two 
good schools, the Carolina Christian College and the Free 
Will Baptist Theological Seminary. 

Grindool, Statons and House are stations on the Scotland 
Neck and Kinston road between Parmele and Greenville; 
and Littleficld and Hanrahan are stations between Ayden 
and Grifton. 

Shelmerdinc is a thriving little town on the Beaufort 
County lAimber Company's road, which extends from Green- 
ville to near Vanceboro. It has about 250 people. 

P^oiintain is a new town on the East Carolina Road. It 
was incorporated in 1903 and has grown rapidly. It is now 
estimated to have near 400 population. 

Tug-well is a station between Fountain and Farmville. 

In 1877 John C. Cox obtained a patent for improvements 
in Ji cotton-planter and began manufacturing Ihem at his 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



197 



place, half a mile west of the present Winterville. This 
business made others, and soon it was a business center. The 
railroad came in 1890, and four years later the business was 
all moved to the railroad and soon Winterville became the 




DR. CHARLES J. O'HAGAN. 



manufacturing town of the County, with various industries. 
In 1899 the Winterville High School opened in a two-room 
house with twenty-two pupils. 

Dr. C. J. O'Hagan died December 18th, 1900. He was 
born in Ireland September 16th, 1821. He was an educated 
and talented man, stood high in the esteem of all and at- 
tained a national reputation in his profession. 



198 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

CHAPTER FORTY-TWO. 



First Four-weeks Teachers' Institute iisr State — 
Rural Free Delivery — Harry Skinner Appointed 
United States District Attorney — Special Taxes 
FOR Schools — Teachers Organize — County Board of 
Education — Full-time Superintendent — Houses — 
Medals — Grimes Re-elected — Skinner Re-appointed 
— Railroads — Public Building — Steel Bridges — 
Grimes Elected Third Time — Training School — 
Pitt Dry. 

At Winterville, in the summer of ICOl, was held the first 
four weeks Institute for Teachers held in the State. It was 
held for the benefit of the teachers of Pitt and Greene coun- 
ties, and Professor Ragsdale, Superintendent for Pitt, and 
Rev. M. P. Davis, Superintendent for Greene, were in 
charge. Professors C. L. Coon, of Salisbury ; F. L. Carr, 
of Snow Hill ; G. E. Lineberrj, of Winterville, and Z. D. 
McWhorter, of Bethel, were the instructors. There were 127 
teachers in attendance. 

J 11 September, 1901, the first Rural Free Delivery of mail 
was put in operation in Pitt. Three routes were established 
and the carriers began with little mail to distribute. Its 
growth since has been phenomenal. 

In 1902 Harry Skinner was appointed United States Dis- 
trict Attorney by President Roosevelt, for the Eastern Dis- 
trict of North Carolina. 

The people were now becoming more interested in educa- 
tional matters, and Bethel was the first town in the County 
to vote a special tax and establish a graded school. The 
Bethel school had previously had only two teachers, but they 
were now increased to five and the school term lengthened 
from three months to eight, and a good library was estab- 
lished. This was in 1902. On the 8th of November there 
was a teachers' meeting in the court-house and a Teachers' 
Association organized. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



199 



Greenville voted a gi-aded school tax in 1903 and its school 
opened in November in a large brick building on the site of 
the old Academy. It began with a large attendance, and be- 
sides the Superintendent had six teachers. A graded school 
for the negroes was also opened at the same time. 

At Ayd'en a special tax was voted, the Christian College 
property bought and a gi-aded school begun. 

These were followed by Grifton, Centreville and Standard 
in 1904. The next year saw still other places doing likewise, 
and it continues. 




pi{oF. u. u. hagsdalp:. 

In 1904 J. Bryan Grimes was again the Democratic candi- 
date for Secretary of State and again elected. 

Under an act of the legislature of 1897 school matters 
were put in the hands of three men, constituting the Board of 
Education for the County. A. G. Cox, W. F. Harding and 
S. M. Jones were the first Board. They elected Professor 
Eagsdale, County Superintendent. He was again elected in 
1903, and was to give his whole time to the work. 



200 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY, 

Many school districts have been consolidated or extended, 
better houses bnilt and better teachers employed. In 1890 
there was not a public school with more than one teacher. 
Now there are fifteen employing two teachers, one employing 
three, and five employing five or more, Greenville being the 
largest, with eleven, in addition to the Superintendent. 

A Teachers' Betterment Association was organized in the 
fall of 1906. It is to encourage better conditions for both 
school-houses and grounds. Miss Bettie Wright was its first 
president. 

Among the school-houses now in the country districts are 
many with two rooms, some with three, and some have a sepa- 
rate music room. These buildings are nice, modern houses, 
nicely finished, painted and inviting. They are furnished 
with patented desks, have maps and pictures on their walls, 
are well lighted and heated and have valuable libraries. The 
music rooms are even better furnished and have oil stoves 
and upright pianos. Much progTCSs has been made educa- 
tionally and the ])<'o])le are interested in keeping in touch 
with it. 

Another stimulus to educational interests was the offering 
by Secretary of State J. Bryan Grimes a medal to be known 
as the Mary Octavia Grimes Medal, for the best essay on 
local history, by a Pitt County school girl or boy, in the public 
schools. This medal has been the source of keen emulation 
and much research. This offer was followed by A. G. Cox 
offering one for the second best essay. These offers have been 
followed by other medal offers, all of which stimulate the 
boys and girls in a profitable rivalry. 

In 1906 President Roosevelt reappointed Harry Skinner 
United States District Attorney. 

The Norfolk and Southern Pailroad, from Raleigh to 
Washington, by Greenville, was completed in 1907, and it 
carried its first passengers to the State Fair to hear William 
Jennings Bryan speak. This road runs through Farmville 
and Grimesland and opens up a fine section. Two new sta- 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



201 



tions, are Arthur, between Farmville and Greenville, and 
Simpson, between Greenville and Grimesland. This road 
was begun several years before and finally bought by the Nor- 
folk and Southern, which completed it, giving another direct 
line to the ]Srorthern markets. 

Shortly before adjourning, in the spring, 1908, Congress 
passed a bill appropriating $10,000 for purchasing a site for 
a public building for Greenville. Offers for sites have been 
advertised for, an inspector has considered the sites offered, 
and bought the Harrington lot in front of the court-house. 




The East Carolina Railroad has been extended to Hooker- 
ton, in Greene County, from Farmville. Grading for the 
extension of the Norfolk and Southern from Farmville to 
Snow Hill was finished in the summer. 



202 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

During the summer the old wood bridge across the river 
at Greenville was replaced by a handsome steel one, costing 
near $50,000. Another steel bridge has been built across 
Big Contentuea Creek (or Moccasin Eiver), at Grifton, to 
replace the old wood bridge there. Another work of the 
county commissioners was the building of a mile of experi- 
mental road, in conjunction with the Federal Government. 
The road begins on Dickinson avenue at the Atlantic Coast 
crossing and extends one mile up the old plankroad. 

J. Bryan Grimes, Secretary of State, was again renomi- 
nated this year, and again reelected. 

A State election, upon the question of State-wide prohibi- 
tion, was held in 1908, and the State went dry, or for prohi- 
bition, by a very large majority. Pitt gave a large majority 
for prohibition. Under the Watts bill much of the County 
had been dry and some other places had voted for the dis- 
pensary. Thus the legal sale of liquor had been consider- 
ably restricted. State prohibition went into operation Jan- 
uary 1st, 1909. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 203 



CHAPTER FORTY-THREE. 



Laugiiinghouse Superintendent of Penitentiary — 
Post-office Site — Training School Opened — Its 
History — Senator Fleming Dead — Big Fire — 
Court-house Burned — Records Saved — Greenville 
Post-office Advanced to Second Class. 

In the spring of 1909, Governor Kitchin appointed Cap- 
tain J. J. Laughinghouse Superintendent of the State peni- 
tentiary and farms, to succeed J. S. Mann. Captain Laugh- 
inghouse had been very prominent in the County and had 
twice represented the County in the lower house of the legis- 
lature. 

The Federal government having made an appropriation 
of $10,000 for a public building for post-ofSce purposes for 
Greenville, several sites were offered for it. In the summer 
of this year, the site was selectcji and bought. It is the Har- 
rington lot, in front of the court-house, at the corner of 
Evans and Third streets. 

October 5th, 1909, the East Carolina Teachers' Training 
School, at Greenville, was opened for the reception of stu- 
dents. Provision was made for the establishment of this 
school by the legislature of 1907, an appropriation of $15,- 
000 being made for buildings, and the State offering it to 
that place which would do the most to get it and offer the 
greatest inducements to secure its location. Quite a number 
of places contended for it, but Greenville's offer was best, 
the County offering the same amount that Greenville did. 
Greenville voted $50,000 and the County $50,000, all in 
bonds. Work was soon begun on the buildings, an Adminis- 
tration building, two dormitories and a dining hall. The 
legislature of 1909 gave $50,000 more for buildings, $13,000 
for maintenance the first year and $15,000 a year thereafter. 

The main buildings were completed by the opening and 



204 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

the others near completion. The buildings completed are 
the Administration building, two dormitories, dining hall, 
power and electric plant and infirmary. The school is for 
the training of teachers for the public schools. About two 
hundred and fifty boarding pupils can be accommodated in 
the buildings. 

James L. Eleming, County Senator in 1907, was the au- 
thor of the Training School bill, and worked unceasingly 
for its passage through the legislature. After the passage of 
his bill, he worked as unceasingly for Greenville as its loca- 
tifc»n. His efforts were ably seconded by others. But he did 
not live to see the success of the school. He met an untimely 
death in ah automobile accident, N^ovember 5th, -1909. With 
three friends he was in an automobile ride on the new sand- 
clay road near Greenville. He was one of the occupants of 
the rear seat. Tu endeax^oring to pass a wagon the automo- 
bile, which was going at a terrific vspeed, left the track and 
plunged against an oak, at the E. B. Higgs' place. He was 
thrown out some distance, and falling on the hard road, on 
his head, met instant death. Harry Skinner, Jr., another 
one of the occupants, was thrown out and received injuries 
that resulted in his death in a few hours. The automobile 
was wrecked, and the other occupants received injuries that 
were very serious. 

On the night of the 23d of February, 1910, Greenville, 
and the County, suffered heavy losses by fire. About one 
o'clock that night the old John Flanagan buggy shops were 
discovered to be on fire. A very stiff northeast wind was 
blowing and the fire spread rapidly. Every building except 
one dwelling, on the square in front of the court-house, was 
burned. Most of the buildings were wood and burned rap- 
idly. Across Evans street, the fire spread to the Pitt County 
buggy shops. From there to the court-house and jail was a 
short leap for the flames, and from there to the Masonic 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 



205 



tiBmple the fire followed. The property loss was over $100,- 
000, with about half that amount of insurance. 

The court-house was built about 1860 and was a splendid 
building of its kind. Some years ago vaults were put in and 
these saved the records of clerk's office and of the register of 
deeds' office, with scarcely any damage. The only loss by 




NEW STEEL BRIDCIE ACROSS TAR RIVER AT GREENVILLE. 

any office were the court papers of the clerk's office. There 
was but little insurance on the court-house and jail. 

The Masonic temple was a new building. In it the Ma- 
sons, Odd Fellows and Pythians met. Most of their property 
and records, except some of the Masons, were lost. The 
Board of Education had an office on the gi'ound floor and lost 
all but the records and some furniture. 

Owing to the increase in the receipts at the Greenville 
post-office, this office was advanced to second class in 1909. 



206 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 

The steady increase to 1910 indicate that this year will show 
an increase that will reach $10,000, which will entitle Green- 
ville to free delivery of mail. 



ADDENDA. 

In July, 1910, Harry W. Whedbee was nominated for 
Judge fpr this district. Judge D. L. Ward, of New Bern, 
was also a candidate for the nomination, having been ap- 
pointed a few mouths previous to succeed Judge Gruion, re- 
signed. On the nomination of Judge Whedbee, Judge Ward 
sent in his resignation, nominee Whedbee was appointed to 
succeed him, and at once entered upon the duties of the office. 

Judge Whedbee is a native of Perquimans County, but 
has lived in Greenville since boyhood. He has been Mayor 
and held other important positions. He is a lavTyer o\ 
ability and stands high in the profession. ' 

The census of 1910 gave Pitt County a population of 
36,340, a gain of 5,451 over that of 1900. 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 207 



CONCLUSION 

Pitt County is centrally located in the Eastern part of the 
State. It is naturally an agricultural County. The soil is 
well adapted to various crops and with intelligent cultivation 
produces abundantly, richly rewarding the cultivator. Its 
three most valuable crops are cotton, tobacco and corn. It 
produces annually an average each of cotton and tobacco, of 
$1,000,000, sometimes more, and sometimes a little less. It 
produces a big crop of corn, but not so large in value. Be- 
sides grain, potatoes, joeanuts and other crops, it is a fine 
County for trucking. Truck can be grown in all parts and 
is a very valuable early money crop. Any truck gTown in 
Eastern Carolina can be grown profitably in Pitt. Fruits, 
grapes and nuts are also a very valuable and profitable crop. 
Many species of game are abundant and many northern 
hunters have been attracted here for the winter. 

The climate is far superior to many "Ideal Climates." The 
winters are short and seldom severe. Cold waves and the 
tails of blizzards sometimes reach Pitt, but have been tem- 
pered by our Sunny South and seldom last more than a few 
days, a temperature of several degrees below freezing being 
often followed in a day or two, by almost spring weather. 
The summers are long but not excessively hot, due to a stiff 
southern breeze. The rainfall is abundant, but seldom such 
as to do damage to crops. 

In transportation the County is unsurpassed by almost any 
county in the State. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad 
passes through the County from north to south and the !N'or- 
folk and Southern from east to west, intersecting each other 
at Greenville. Another branch of the Atlantic Coast Line, 
from Parmele to Washington, passes through the northeast- 
ern part of the County for a distance of about eighteen miles, 
the East Carolina, from Tarboro to Hookerton, passes 
through the western part of the County for a distance of 



208 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 




SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY. 209 

« 

nearly ten miles, and the Beaufort County Lumber Company 
has a road from Greenville to near Vanceboro that does con- 
siderable freight business and takes passengers. Tar River 
'enters the county from the northwest and taking a southeast 
course, runs through the centre, and is navigable nine-tenths 
of the year, and on the south are the Xeuse and Moccasin 
rivers, both navigable streams. These give ample and quick 
transportation. 

The history of Pitt County is a history of progress and 
along no lines has progress been greater than in the matter 
of education. There are over 6,000 white and 5,900 colored 
children in the County. Ninety per cent of the whites are 
enrolled and the average attendance is eighty per cent. The 

f 

enrollment and attendance of the colored is not so good 
Nearly every town has a white graded school and many white 
districts in the country employ more than one teacher. There 
are 132 white teachers and only four of these hold second 
grade certificates. Forty-five districts have libraries, contain- 
ing more than 5,000 volumes. There are fifty-seven colored 
teachers. The value of school property is near $100,000, 
and this does not include the E. C. T. Training School, which 
would run the amount up to fully $300,000. Last year's 
school fund was $33,000 and this does not include near 
$15,000 local school taxes collected. Private donations to 
public schools amounted to $3,810 last year. All school 
buildings are modern, many of them being after the plans, 
approved by the State. 

A Woman's Betterment Association, for improving and 
beautifying school grounds, is doing a great work. For this; 
work last year, the Association collected and spent $2,260. 

Perhaps one-third of the population of Pitt County claims 
church membership, and there are denominations enough to 
give every one a chance to attend services. A great improve- 
ment has been made in church buildings in late' years and 
now there are many fine church edifices in the County. 
14 



210 SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY.., 

Labor conditions are good and few landowners fail to get 
good tenants. Tenants often make good crops that give them 
surplus money at the end of the year. The man who works 
makes money. The principal labor is colored. The County 
needs more white farmers, more white labor, and offers them 
rich returns for their labor. 

Prior to the emancipation of the negro, all American his^ 
tory was practically a history of the white race. With eman- 
cipation the negro became a citizen with an increased interest 
in himself and country. His sudden advancement without 
previous preparation did not make him, a better citizen sind 
his attempts to wield powers not within his grasp retarded 
his advancement. However much the racial antagonism, the 
whites at once began to help him, by inaugurating an educa- 
tional era for him. For quite a time his little education was 
dangerous, but time has made him. see that his interest is the 
interest of all. Therefore, he has been making progress edu- 
cationally, industrially, mentally and morally. Many now 
have fair education, some have fairly well equipped them- 
selves for teachers and are uplifting their fellows, many by 
industry and economy have acquired' homes and are doing 
well, some few have tried the professions with but indifferent 
success, and some few still have raised themselves above their 
surroundings and made names for themselves. 

The tax returns for 1009 show the total valuation for taxa- 
tion of all property of every kind was ,$8,395,206. There 
were returned 3,120 white polls and 2,593 colored. The 
property listed was as follows: 

Aorcs of Kettl Personal t ♦ i ! 

Land Estate Property ' ^°^^^ 

By whiles 375,244 $3,718,048 $2,331,435 $6,049,483 

By colored 16,743 23a,284 116,668 ^52,952 

, Txjlal 391,987 $3,954,332 $2,448,103- $6,402,335 

]{o!il !iri(l personal i)roporty ; $6,402,335 

Uailroad and tdcKiapli and telephone '..,....' 1,992,871 

Total $8,3^:5,208 



SKETCHES 



OF 



Prominent Pitt County 
Men and Women 



1704—1910 



ILLUSTRATED 



PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 



213 



SKETCHES OF PITT COUNTY 




TYSON, GENERAL LAW- 
RENCE DAVIS, was born on 
the old Tyson homestead on the 
north side of Contentnea Creek, 
about ten miles west of Green- 
ville and three miles east of 
Farmville, July 4th, 1861. His 
father, Richard Lawrence Ty- 
son, a planter and merchant, 
and his grandfather, Sherrod 
Tyson, also a large planter and 
extensive land-owner, were born 
on the same farm. His father 
was a Confederate soldier, en- 
listing April 4tli, 1862, in Com- 
pany K, Seventeenth North 
Carolina Regiment. He was a 
non-commissioned officer, 3d 
Sergeant of his company. His 
great-grandfather was a sol- 
dier of the Revokition. His 
father died at Raleigh, N. C, 
June 30th, 1879. His mother, Mrs. Margaret Louise Tyson, born Sep- 
tember 20th, 1840, is a daughter of the late Moses and Martha (Briley) 
Turnage. Her father was a large planter and in the war of 1812-15, 
was a Corporal in Captain Samuel Vines' Company. Her grandfather, 
Benjamin Briley, was a private in the same Company. 

His father was very desirous that his son should have the best 
educational advantages, but the impossibility of securing good teachers 
so soon after the civil was, led him to move to Greenville about 1873, 
where there were some better schools. Afterwards his father moved 
to the western part of the state and in the Summer of 1879 Lawrence 
secured an appointment as Cadet to the United States Military Acad- 
emy, at West Point, New York, having won the appointment in compe- 
tition with eleven others. He became a Cadet at the Academy July 1st, 
1870, and four years later, June 1st, 1883, was graduated and appointed 
a Second Lieutenant in the 9th United States Infantry and sent west. 
He was in the frontier service in Kansas, Wyoming, Arizona and New 
Mexico and was in two active campaigns against hostile Indians before 
being transferred to New York in 1887. He was again transferred, to 
Arizona in 1889. 

In 1890 he was appointed Professor of Military Science and Tactics 
at the University of Tennessee, at Knoxville. While discharging this 



214 SKETCHES OF PROMINENT 

duty, he found time to study law and after two years graduated from 
this University, a Bachelor of Laws. Three years later in 1895 he 
resigned from the United States Army and gave his time to the prac- 
tice of law at Knoxville, Tennessee. 

On the outbreak of the Spanish-American war in 1898, he oflFered his 
services to President McKinley, who appointed him Colonel of the 
Sixth U. S. Volunteer Infantry, known as the Sixth Immunes. After 
serving at Knoxville, Tennessee, and Chicamauga Park, Georgia, he was 
sent to Porto Rico. For several months he was in active service there 
and in command of a large portion of the Island. Returning to the 
United States he was mustered out in the Spring of 1899, and recom- 
mended for Brevent Brigadier General, for meritorious services during 
the war. 

In 1902 he was elected a Representative from his county, Knox, to the 
General Assembly of Tennessee, defeating his opponent by a handsome 
majority. When the Assembly met in January, 1903, he was elected 
Speaker of the House of Representatives, defeating some very popular 
opponents. In 1908 he was a Delegate at-Large from Tennessee to the 
National Democratic Convention at Denvet^, Colorado. He was for six 
years Inspector General of the State,^ of, Tennessee with the rank of 
Brig. General. He is at present engaged largely in manufacturing and 
is the President of several large Textile plants and coal and land com- 
panies. At the North Carolina, Home Coming week, at Greensboro, 
North Carolina, in October, 1903, he. \vas. a Guest of Honor and one of 
the principal speakers for that occasion. He has for several years been 
prominent in the politics of Tennessee and has been prominently put 
forward for the Democratic Nomination for Governor of the State. 

He is a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, being now a 
vestryman of the Church. 

He is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks. 

Februarj' 10th, 188G, he married Miss Bettie McGhee, daughter of the 
late Col. Charles M. McGhee and Cornelia H. (White) McGhee of Knox- 
ville, Tennessee. Her father was a very prominent railroad man and 
capitalist of Tennessee. Her mother's family have been very prominent 
in Kno.xville and one of her ancestors, General James White, founded 
the City of Knoxville. Their children are Charles McGhee Tyson, now 
a Sophomore at Princeton University, and Isabella McGhee Tyson, now 
at Miss Spencer's Boarding School for Young Ladies, in New York City. 



GRIMES, GENERAL BRYAN, was born on the Grimesland farm, 
November 2nd, 1828. About 17G0 Denisie Grimes, a son of William 
Grimes of Norfolk County, Virginia, came to North Carolina, married 
Penelope Coflield, of Bertie, and settled in Edgecombe on Fishing Creek. 
Not long thereafter he bought much land on Tar River in Pitt and 
moved to it, calling it Avon. William Grimes, the only son of Demsie 
Grimes, married Ann Bryan, daughter of Colonel Joseph Bryan and 



PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 215 

granddaughter of John Porter the first great leader of the people in the 
Colony of North Carolina. In 1786 he bought much land lower down the 
river and named it Grimesland. His son, Bryan Grimes, married 
twice, his first wife being Naney Grist, daughter of General Richard 
Grist and grandaughter of Col. John Bryan of Craven County. One of 
their sons, Bryan Grimes, is the subject of this sketch. 

Bryan Grimes was educated at Bingham School and the University of 
North Carolina, graduating from the latter institution in June, 1848. 
Soon thereafter his father gave him Grimesland and he became a 
planter. Returning from a visit to Europe in 1860, he found the 
country agitated over secession. Hearing of the bombardment of Fort 
Sumter, he hastened to Charleston and continued his trip further South, 
going as far as New Orleans. He returned in May to find himself 
already a candidate with F. B. Satterthwaite for the State Convention 
just called. by Governor Ellis. As a member of that Convention, he 
voted for Secession, May 20th, 1861, and a few days later resigned, as 
he accepted the appointment by Governor Ellis as Major of the Fourth 
Regiment, preferring it to that of Major of the Second or Lieutenant- 
Colonel of the Eighth, both of which were also offered him. Having 
no military training his choice was influenced by the fact that George 
B. Anderson, a West Pointer, was Colonel of the Fourth. 

Major Grimes joined his regiment at Garysburg. It soon went to 
Richmond, theji to Manassas, arriving there two days after the battle. 
Colonel Anderson being made Commandant at Manassas, Major Grimes 
was then in command of the regim*ent, the Lieutenant-Colonel being 
absent. Returning to Richmond he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel, 
May 5th. His regiment did conspicuous duty at the evacuation of 
Yorktown. At Williamsburg, Colonel Anderson was in command of the 
brigade and the command of the regiment devolved upon Lieutenant 
Colonel Grimes. At Seven Pines, May 31st, he commanded the regi- 
ment and out of twenty-five officers and 520 men, every officer, except 
himself, and 462 men were killed or wounded. In this battle a cannon 
ball took off the head of his horse, and in falling one leg was caught 
under the horse. The regiment wavered, but waving his sword he 
shouted "Forward ! Forward." Being freed from his dead horse, he 
seized the flag then lying on the ground, all the bearers and guards 
being killed or wounded, led the charge and captured the works. 
■ June 19th, 1862, Lieutenant Colonel Grimes was appointed Colonel. 
At Mechanicsville, June 26th, he had a horse killed under him. Over 
the protest of General Anderson who declared that "although small in 
numbers. Colonel Grimes and his regiment is the keystone of my 
Brigade," he was detailed by General D. H. Hill to take the prisoners 
jind stores to Richmond. In July, while suffering from typhoid fever 
he returned to Raleigh, but was with his regiment in time for the Mary- 
land campaign, taking part in the fights before crossing the Potomac. 
Although unfit for duty on account of injury from a horse's kick, he 
took part in the battle of South Mountain, September 14th, where he 



210 SKETCHES OF PROMINENT 

had a liorse killed under him. He was unfit for duty for some time on 
account of the horse kick. General Anderson was mortally wounded 
at Sliarpsburg, and Colonel Grimes was placed in command of the 
brigade, which he commanded at Fredericksburg and until relieved by 
General Ramscur in February, 1.863. 

At Chancellorsville, May 1st, 1863, Colonel Grimes commanded his 
regiment, which with a Mississippi regiment, successfully charged up 
to the main body of General Hooker's army. When hard fighting was 
at hand General (Stonewall) Jackson would say, "Press them, Colonel." 
On the second day he took an active part in routing General Seigel's 
Corps. On the third day a brigade refused to make a charge when so 
ordered. Colonel Grimes and General Eamseur volunteered to make the 
charge, climbed the breastworks, formed, charged bayonets and captured 
the works. Thus an inferior force, without firing a gun captured a 
greatly superior. In this charge. Colonel Grimes and his regiment 
trampled on the Brigade that had refused to charge, Colonel Grimes 
trampling upon the commanding officer, putting one foot on his back and 
the other on his head, grinding his face in the dirt. In this fight 
Colonel Grimes' sword was broken by a ball, his clothing perforated by 
bullets, one lodging in his belt, and he was wounded in the foot. Out 
of 327 officers and men of this regiment, forty-six were killed and 157 
wounded. 

In the Gettysburg campaign, about eight miles from Harrisburg his 
regiment completely routed about 500 Pennsylvania sugar loaf hat 
militia, capturing many hats, but no militia. On the first day at 
Gettysburg, his regiment was the first to enter the town, driving the 
Federals to the heights beyond, capturing more prisoners than it had 
men, and would have taken the heights beyond, but was recalled. On 
the second and third days, his regiment did important service and on the 
return, he commanded the rearguard. 

Declining to become a candidate for the Confederate Congress, he 
continued in active service and in November, 1863, was again given 
command of General Ramseur's Brigade, while he, General Eamseur, 
was home. He was again in command of his regiment in the Wilder- 
ness campaign. On May 12th, 1804, at a critical moment without 
authority, Ramseur being wounded, he led a second charge of Ramseur's 
Brigade and captured more Federals that the brigade he commanded 
had men. General Junius Daniel had been mortally wounded and 
Colonel Grimes was placed in command of his brigade. Throughout 
the Wilderness campaign and at Spottsylvania his division was in the 
thickest of the battle and did great execution. On the 19th General 
Rodos (•oiiipliiiicntcd him saying, he had "saved Ewell's Corps and shall 
be promoted, and your commission shall bear date from to-day." He 
received his commission as Brigadier General, June 5th it bearing date 
of May 19th. In July he went home on a sick furlough. 

At Winchester, September 29th his brigade did severe fighting, he 
had his horse killed under him and but few of his staff escaped severe 



PITT COUJiTTT MEN AND WOMEN. 217 

wounds. At Cedar Creek, when General Sheridan rallied his men to 
the return attack General Grimes made desperate efforts to save the 
day, but without avail. He exposed himself recklessly and had two 
horses shot under him. In this battle General Ramseur was mortally 
wounded and General Grimes was placed in command of his division. 
November 23rd his division routed 4,000 of General Sheridan's cavalry. 
During the winter 1864-5 his division was on duty about Richmond 
and vicinity. In February, 1865, he was commissioned Major General. 

In March, 1865, General Grimes' Division relieved General Bushrod 
Johnson's Division in the trenches in front of Petersburg, defending a 
line of three and a half miles with only 2,200 men. March 25th was 
made the last attempt to break through General Grant's lines. Just 
before dawn, 300 sharpshooters, of General Grimes' Division, with 
empty rifles left their works, dashed across an open space of about 100 
yards, surprised and captured the Federal pickets, mounted the Federal 
tt'orks and captured 500 Federals. The remainder of his division and 
other troops followed, but by the failure of General Pickett's Division to 
support them, they had to fall back after two hours of fighting against 
ten to one, and a victory was lost. 

On the night of April 1st Petersburg was evacuated. On the retreat 
General Grimes, then in command of his own division and that of 
General Bushrod Johnson and General Wise's Brigade was the rear 
guard of General Lee's army. At Appomattox he also had under him 
the divisions of Generals Evans and Walker, and commanded all the 
infantry actually engaged on the 9th. That morning General Gordon 
and General Fitz Lee were iindecided which should make the attack 
on the Federals. General Grimes became worried at such indecision 
and delay and volunteered to lead the attack. Given that privilege, 
he had placed under him in addition to the troops he then commanded 
the Divisions of Generals Walker and Evans and made the attack, soon 
reporting the way open to Lynchburg for General Lee's army. He 
was astonished when ordered by General Gordon to withdraw. This 
he refused to do until so ordered by General Lee. While withdrawing 
a superior force attacked when he ordered General Cox to meet it. This 
General Cox did and repulsed the attack. That was the last shot at 
Appomattox. 

Being informed that General Lee had surrendered, he was greatly 
mortified, wanted to cut his way through the Federal lines and join 
General J. E. Johnston in North Carolina. Being convinced by the 
protests of other general officers that such action, though successful, 
would be violating the truce and a reflection upon himself and also 
General Lee, he shared the fate of General Lee's army in the surrender. 
Accepting his parole, he returned to his family and home, to help in 
the rebuilding of the fortunes of his country. 

After living in Raleigh in 1806 and '67, he returned to his Grimes- 
land farm where he lived the life of a successful fanner and useful and 
honored citizen, till his death, August 14th, 1880. That day when 



218 SKJ5TGHES OF PROMINENT 

returning from Washington with twelve-year-old Fenner Bryan Sat- 
terthwaite — the son of a friend — he was assassinated from ambush as 
he was crossing Bear Creek. Only one shot took effect, but that severed 
an artery and death resulted at once. He was buried in the family 
cemetery at Grimesland. 

William Parker was soon arrested and after some delay, tried and 
acquitted at Williamston for the murder of General Grimes. In a few 
years Parker practically confessed or boasted of the killing of General 
Grimes, and one morning in May, 1888, he was found hanging from the 
draw of the Washington bridge. He' had been lynched. 

General Grimes was twice married. April 9th, 1851, he married 
Elizabeth Davis, daughter of Dr. Thomas Davis, of Franklin County. 
She died November, 1857, leaving one daughter now the wife of Samuel 
F. Mordecai. September 5th, 1863, he married Charlotte Bryan, daugh- 
ter of John H. Bryan, of Raleigh. She, with eight children, survive 
General Grimes. 



SHEPPARD, HENRY, SR., was born in Snow Hill, January 10th, 
1813. His father, James Glascow Sheppard, was a son of Benjamin 
Sheppard. His mother was Mary J. Harper, who married James 
Glascow Sheppard after the death of W. H. Armstrong, her first 
husband. She died when Henry was only three years old. He attended 
the Snow Hill school until his father moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 
1827, and put him into a printing office. An only brother, Harper 
Sheppard, became a very prominent lawyer and newspaper man in 
Tennessee. 

Henry was very anxious to return to North Carolina and the day 
he was twcntj'-one, began the journey on horseback, through the snows 
of a severe winter. Arriving at Greenville he accepted a position in 
the store of Sherrod Tyson, sr. Two years later became a partner with 
his employer in a business at the Tyson place about ten miles west of 
Greenville. Marrying a daughter of his partner in 1841, he quit mer^ 
chandising and went to farming. 

In 1849 he was elected Clerk of the County Court, being the first 
democrat elected in many years. He was four times reelected, but 
bad to resign ih 1861 on account of ill health, but was soon thereafter 
a war candidate for the legislature, being defeated by Dr. E. J. Blount, 
a Union man. Having several times refused to become a candidate 
for any office, in 1874 he accepted the nomination for Clerk of the 
Superior Court. He was elected and also the entire democratic ticket, 
it being the fust elected since the war. In 1878, owing to confusion in 
tlie convention, a later convention nominated B. W. Brown for Clerk. 
Sheppard claimed the nomination by the first convention, went before 
the people and was elected. He died October 30th, 1881, lacking one 
year of completing the term, and one year of having served in the same 
office twenty years. He was buried at the old homestead. 



PITT COUNTY :m:en and women, 219 

.. "As an officer he was always courteous, obliging and efficient. As a 
public man, he was of a retiring honest nature. * * * "He was 
conservative in politics. * * * "I21 bis private life he was a devoted 
husband and father, a true friend and a generous open-handed, affec- 
tionate man. He was devoted to his county and State." 

He was married three times. January 21st, 1841, he married Mar- 
garet Ann, daughter of Sherrod Tyson, sr. They had twelve children. 
The first died young. Elizabeth (married J. T. Williams), James G., 
B. S., Mary, Alice, Pattie, Henry, Margaret, Susan E., William, Alex- 
ander. INIrs. Sheppard died in 1863 and in 1865 he married Mrs. Ann 
E. Turnage, widow of Benjamin Turnage and a daughter of Dr. Neal. 
They had two children, Lawrence B. and 'Harper D. She died in 1870 
and in 1875 he married Ella Williams, daughter of Eichard Williams. 
They had two children, Annie W. and Hernie. 



WILLIAMS, DR. ROBERT, Surgeon in the Revolution, was a son of 
Robert Williams, a Welshman, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1720 
and came to North Carolina in 1727, settling on Tar River, near the 
Falkland landing, on what is now known as the Hughes land, buying 
several thousand acres of land from the Earl of Granville, He was 
married four times, lived to be one hundred and five years old, and 
left many descendants. 

There near Falkland, Robert, the subject of this sketch, was born 
August 25th, 1758. He received the best educational advantages of 
the times and completed his medical studies in Richmond and Philadel- 
phia. In March, 1779, before he was twenty-one years old, he became 
surgeon in the American army, at Camp Liberty Town. He at once 
made requisition for all the medicines to be had and this no doubt 
brought him to the notice of the State authorities, for in the following 
October he was appointed surgeon. This brbught out the fact that he 
had been acting since the previous March and therefore he was ordered 
paid from that date. Little is known of his services, but he was with 
the militia at Guilford Court House March 15th, 1781, when General 
Greene practically defeated Lord Cornwallis. After the Revolution he 
retired to his farm and the practice of his profession. He was a repre- 
sentative in the General Assembly in 1786 and 1787. He was a member 
of the Convention at Hillsboro, July 21st, 1788, that rejected the Con- 
stitution of the United States. After this he was a representative in 
the General Assembly in L791i and Senator in 1793-4-5, 1802-3,4, 
5-6-8-13-14. He was also a member of the Constitutional convention 
which met at Raleigh June 4th, 1835. 

During all this period he did an extensive practice, his home being 
practically a hospital or sanitarium, patronized by the people of the 
eastern part of the State. And too he found time for other duties, 
taking interest in his farm and educational matters, being a trustee 
of Pitt Academv from its charter in 1786. 



220 SKETCHES OF PROMINENT 

He died October r2th, 1840, "loved for his virtues and respected for 
his services." 

He was married three times. His first wife, whom he married in 
1781, was Fannie Randolph, of Virginia. 

His second wife, wliom he married in 1792, was Xancy Haywood, of 
Edgecombe County. 

His third wife, whom he married in 1804, was Elizabeth Ellis, also 
of Edgecombe County. 

He was the father of fourteen children, two by his first wife, three 
by his second and nine bv his third. 



SALTER, EDWARD. There were three Edwards in the Salter 
family and one or more was conspicuous in Colonial and Revolutionary 
times. Edward sr., settled at Tuscarora, now the Mrs. F. C. Saunders 
farm, where Edward jr. was born. Edward jr. had three sons, Edward, 
John and Robert. 

It is very probable that Edward jr. was a "Commissioner of Peace'' 
for Beaufort and also a member of the Assembly in 1731; was a River 
and Road Commissioner. 1745; Salter's landing made place of inspec- 
tion of tobacco, with warehouse 1752; remonstrated against conduct 
of certain Justices of the Peace 1764; Clerk of the Court 1772. 

Edward jr. and his son Edward were no doubt both members of the 
Committee of Safety, and it is probable that the last Edward was the 
member of the County Committee recommended by the Continental 
(,'ongress; clerk to the Committee of Safety 1774; delegate to New 
Berne August 25th, 1774, and member of committee to notify Standing 
Committee of the Province that Pitt had organized committee, &e. ; 
delegate to Provincial meeting at New Berne April 3rd, 1774, and mem- 
ber of Assembly that met regularly next day; was at Tarboro when 
learned of negro insurrection and sent timely warnings, July, 1775; 
member Provincial Congress and on District Committee of Safety; 
member Halifax convention that instructed for Independence, April, 
177G; member Halifax convention November, 1776, that formed State 
Constitution; member Senate 1779-80-81-82; Lieutenant Colonel of 
Pitt regiment 1779 in place of George Evans; captured Tory supplies 
in Edgecombe intended for Lord Cornwallis' army 1781. 

The date of the birth and death of all are unknown. 



MAY, MAJOR BENJAMIN, was a native of Scotland and born in 
173G; came to North Carolina and settled in Pitt County, on south 
side of Contentnea creek, about two miles west of the present town 
of Farmville; was "Saddler to the County and Province" in 1767; 
member of Committee of Safety 1774, and also member of the County 
Committee agreeable to the recommendation of the Continental Con- 
gress; was one of tiie committee to build the court house and jail at 



PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 221 

Martinborough 1774; Captain of Company of Patrollers 1775; was one 
of those appointed by the Halifax Provincial Congress to receive arms, 
ammunition, &c.; -member of the Halifax Convention, November 1776, 
that formed the State Constitution; July, 1779, appointed 1st Major 
of Pitt regiment; said to have been in the battle of Guilford Court 
House, February 15th, 1781, commanding militia; after long service 
resigned as Justice of the Peace 1784; trustee of Pitt Academy 1786; 
member House of Commons from 1804 to his death 1809. 

Major May was married three times and left a large family. His 
first wife was Mary Tyson, daughter of Cornelius Tyson, an early Pitt 
county settler and very large land owner. They had three sons; 
Benjamin, jr. (married Mary or Penelope Grimes or perhaps both) 
William, (married Susan Forl)es) James, (married Harriett Williams) 
and several daughters, one of whom, Mary, married Colonel Samuel 
Vines. He had no children bv his other wives. 



SALTER, COLONEL ROBERT, was second son of Edward Salter jr. 
and early prominent in local affairs. In 1770 reported from Tarboro 
that Regulators were going to New Berne to interfere with the Assem- 
bly; raised a company of infantry against Regulators 1771; joined 
Governor Tryon's army at Colonel Bryan's, 100 miles west of New 
Berne and was in review at Smith Ferry next day. May 3rd; did picket 
duty with his company May 7th, and as baggage guard May 8th; at 
Alamance May 16th; appointed sheriff same year, 1771; reported de- 
linquent, as sheriff in the sura of 498 £ 2s 3d in 1773; member Com- 
mittee of Safety 1774 and on committee to receive donations for help of 
Boston ; member Provincial Congress at Hillsboro, appointed Commis- 
sary for New Berne District and Lieutenant Colonel of Pitt militia, 
member committee of "Secrecy, Intelligence and Observation," 1775; 
was near Wilmington with his company and probably in Battle of 
Moore's Creek; resigned as commissary and succeeded by James Salter 
1776; was at Tarboro when he learned of plot of Tories to murder 
prominent men and officials; member of Senate, recruiting officer 1777; 
commanded militia escort of commissioners to run the line between 
North Carolina and Virginia 1779; died May, 1779. 



ARMSTRONG, GENERAL JAMES, was member of Pitt County Com- 
mittee of Safety and one of those named to solicit donations for the 
relief of the people of Boston; December 9th, 1774, was member of the 
County Committee which was elected "agreeable to the directions of the 
Continental Congress"; elected Second Major of Pitt militia, 1775; was 
one of the Committee of "Secrecy, Intelligence and Observation"; was 
promoted Colonel, 1777, and in active service about Philadelphia, where 
the losses of his regiment were so great that it was consolidated with 
Colonel Patton's regiment, and he returned home. 



222 SKETCHES OF PROMINENT 

He was soon again in active service; was in command of a regimentl 
at Stono Ferry, S. C, June 20th, 1779, and severely wounded; pre^; 
sided at a Court of Inquiry, that acquitted Gideon Lamb, with honor,; 
of charges against his conduct at Brandywiue; allowed the use of! 
$50,000.00 by the Assembly for recruiting purposes, about Cross Creek'; • 
resigned from army June 1781, allowed half pay and put in charge of 
recruiting at home. 

On resignation of Brigadier General William Caswell, was elected 
Brigadier General by the Assembly for New Berne district, but General 
Caswell was reinstated; was member of State Council 1784; was 
elected by the Assembly of 17^86, Brigadier General for Nevv Berne 
district; Trustee Pitt Academy, 1780; member of House of Commons 
1789; member of Fayetteville Convention 1789, voting for ratiiication 
of Federal Constitution; was one of the committee for building court 
house, under Blount bill, 1789; member Senate 1790. 

Died late in 1794 or early in 1795. 

Family name has disappeared from Pitt County and most descendants 
are to be found further South. 



BLOUNT, WILLIAM,, became a citizen of Pitt County, when a part 
of Craven County was added to Pitt in 1786. He was probably born, 
in, Beaufort county; was member of House of Commons from Craven 
1780; member Continental Congress 1782-83; member House. Commons 
1783-84; member pi Continental Congress 1786-87; appointed by Gov- 
ernor Hichard Caswell his substitute to the Convention at Philadelphia 
in 1787, that formed the Federal Constitution; member State Senate 
from Pitt 1788-89; at session of 1788 seconded motion for a second 
Convention to consider the Federal Constitution; introduced bill for 
new court house for Pitt at 1789 session and was on committee for 
building same; member of Fayetteville Conveiition of 1789, that ratified 
the Federal Constitution. 

In 1790, when the Territory South of the Ohio, (Kentucky and Ten- 
nessee) was organized President Washington appointed him Governor. 
He was President of thp Convention of Tennessee in 1796 and on the 
admission of Tennessee, was one of its first (two) United States Sena- 
tors; September 8tli 1797 was expelled from the Senate, for alleged 
instigation of the Creek and Cherokee Indians to assist the British in 
conquering Spanish territories near the United States; elected member 
of the Tennessee Senate, and made President thereof, while the United 
States Senate was impeaching him. 

He died at Knoxville March 10th, 1810, aged fifty-six years. Time 
has vindicated his action that led to his impeachment and added more 
honor to his memory. He married a Miss Granger of Wilmington and 
one son was highly honored by the people of Tennessee. 



PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 223 

EVAXS, RICHARD, on whose land the town of Martinborough was' 
laid off under an act of the Assembly of 1771, was a member of the 
Assembly 17G8-G9-71. He introduced the bill, which failed to pass the 
first session, but did pass at the next. 

In the supplementary Act of 1774 for removing the court house to 
Martinborough, he was one of the committee named for that purpose. 
He died in 1784 or 1785. 



EVANS, MAJOR GEORGE, was member of Committee of Safety and 
other special pommittees; member of Assembly 1773; member of County 
Committee directed by Continental Congress 1774; member committee 
for moving court-house 1774; 1st Major Pitt Militia 1776; member 
Halifax Convention, November 1776, that formed State Constitution;; 
declined election as Lieutenant Colonel, which was accepted by Edward 
Salter; member House of Commons 1781; date of death unknown. 



GORHAM, GENERAL JAMES, and two brothers came from England. 
Arriving in Pamlico river, he sold his ship and cargo, and bought land, 
about Strawberry Hill. He also bought much land higher up the river, 
among which was that now known as the Charles, Yines, Swain an(^ 
Gorham places. -.■;'.....■■,.. 

He was a member of the Committee of Safety and of other important 
committees; was a delegate to New Berne April 3rd 1775; member of 
the Hillsboro Provincial Congress 1775; and was made Major of the, 
District Minute Men; petitioned for the discharge of Mr. Clawson from 
teaching dancing, March 23rd 1776; appointed to receive arms, ammu- 
nition, &c; member Halifax Coijvention November 12th 1776; reduced 
to ranks and without command, 1777; member House of Commons 1779;, 
was witli General Sumner's Brigade at Ramsey's Mills on Deep River, 
in command of volunteers — 81 infantry and 19 light horse; commanded 
400militia, with rank of General, at Peacock's Bridge 1781, in skirmish 
with Tarleton and 800 British; member House Commons 1781-82; 
trustee Pitt Academy 1780. Died at Strawberry Hill. 



SIMPSON, GENERAL JOHN, a native of Massachusetts, was born 
March 1st 1728, and early in life settled iii Pitt County (then Beaufort) 
on Tar river, about six miles below what is now Greenville, namins; his 
place Chatham. He took an active part in the public affairs of his day 
and was a lieutenant of Militia in Captain John Hardee's Company in 
1757. He was a member of the Assembly of 1760 and took a promi 
nent part in having Beaufort County divided, the upper part becoming 
Pitt County. Petitions for a new county were presented to the Assem- 
bly at the first session of that year, but the matter was postponed to 
the November session, when Simpson presented a bill for the purpose 



224 SKETCHES OF PROMINENT 

of creating Pitt County. It passed and he was named as one of the 
committee for building the court house, prison, pillory and stocks. 
He was its first sheriff' and one of the commissioners to run the line 
between Pitt and Dobbs counties in 1763. He was a member of the 
Assembly for the years 17G4-5-6-7-8-9, though he must have been 
Register of Deeds for part of the time as Governor Tryon so appointed 
him November 20th, 17()0. His place on Tar river was made a place 
for the inspection of Tobacco in 1764. In 1768 he and some others, he 
being the leader, prevented the Justices of the Peace doing any business 
and therefore prevented the regular levy of taxes. For this complaint 
was made to the Assembly by William Moore and probably others. 
He was then a member of the Assembly and for this action he was 
called to the Bar of the Assembly and censured by the Speaker. Soon 
thereafter he was granted leave of absence and remained away for 
the Session. But when it was known that sofhe Regulators were about 
to march to New Berne to interfere with the proceedings of the Assem- 
bly of 1770, he ofl'ered his services, with 358 militia, of which he was 
Colonel, to Governor Trj'on, to oppose them. 

March 13th, 1771, Governor Tryon appointed him sheriff and he was 
active in raising a company against the Regulators, which was at 
Alamance under Captain Robert Salter. November 13th, same year, 
Governor Martin appointed him Register of Deeds. His schooner, John 
and Elizabetli was captured by the Spanish at Vera Cruz and nothing 
heard from it in some time and when the facts became known he wanted 
the government to get him pay for his losses. The government did not 
do so, so he lost much by it. This was in 1772. He was in the Assem- 
bly of 1773 and a delegate appointed by the Committee of Safety, to 
New Berne August 25th, 1774. There he was a member of the Com- 
mittee to notify the Standing Committee of the Province that the 
County Committee had organized and was also a member of the Com- 
mittee recommended by the Continental Congress, and made its chair- 
man. 

He was sent by the County Committee of Safety to the meeting at 
New Berne April 3rd, 1775, and was also a regularly elected repre- 
sentative in tlic Assembly that met at same place April 4th, (next day). 
He took an active part in supjjressing the negro insurrection of July 
same year and was a member of the Hillsboro Provincial Congress 
August 20th, 1775. He had long been Colonel of the County Militia 
and he was now continued in that position by the new authorities, and 
also made chairman of the County Committee and member of the Com- 
mittee of "Secrecy, Intelligence and Observation." He was a member 
of the second Provincial Congress of 1775; of the Halifax convention, 
April 1776 and ajjpointcd a Justice of the Peace; was elected a member 
of the District Committee of Safety, vice Roger Ormond, deceased. He 
complained to the Congress of 1777 of the lack of arms and ammunition. 
He was a member of the House in 1778, vice William Robeson, resigned; 
member of House 1770, Imt resigned on being elected member of the 



PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 225 

State Council; was elected Brigadier General in 1780; member of State 
Senate in 1781 and of House in 1782. When Pitt Academy was in- 
corporated in 1786, he was one of the Trustees; was member of State 
Senate in 1786; having never had pay for his services in the Assembly 
of 1782, the Assembly of 1787 paid him for the same. He died March 
1st, 1788, aged sixty years less some days. 

He married a daughter, Elizabeth, of John Hardee. Their children 
were Mary Randall, Susannah, Elizabeth, Samuel, Alice, John Hardee, 
Ann, Joseph, and Sarah. Susannah married Lawrence O'Bryan, Ann 
married John Eason and Sarah married Dr. Joseph Brickell. The 
others never married. 



HARDEE, COLONEL JOHN, is first mentioned as a member of the 
River and Road Commission in 1745, the powers of which Commission 
were enlarged in 1752 to include the making navigable other streams, 
creeks, &c. He was Captain of a Company of Militia in 1754 and also 
a member of the Assembly. When the County was formed in 1760 the 
court house, prison, pillory and stocks were to be built on his lands 
and he was one of the commissioners for that work. Court was held in 
his house untjl the court house could be built, and the freeholders met 
at his house to elect vestrymen for the newly erected Parish to be 
known as St. Michael's Parish. He was a member of the Assembly of 
1762 and a Justice of the Peace in 1764. That year Edward Salter 
found complaint against him and some others as Justices and com- 
plained to the Assembly. This was met by a counter complaint against 
Salter and no more was heard of the matter. 

He was chairman of the first meeting of the freeholders in opposition 
to British oppression and a member of the committee to notify the 
Provincial Standing Committee that a county Committee had been 
organized and also a member of the Committee recommended by the 
Continental Congress. In the Minutes of the meetings of the County 
Committee of July 17th, 1775, is the following: "Captain John Hardees 
Comp'y meat & Choose Different Officers as under Mentioned in too 
Companies — Viz, 

Wm. Burney, Capt. 
Isaac Hardee, Lewtenant, 
Isaac Hardee, Ensign. 
Wm. Tillghman, Capt, 
Samuel Cherrie, Lieutenant, 
Nathan Cannon, Ensign." 

On the divison of his company under different Captains, he was no 
doubt then promoted Colonel. 

He died December 12th, 1784, aged 77 years, 8 months and 25 days. 
He married Susannah Tyson. 

15 



•2-2(\ 



SKKTCJIKS OF PROMINENT 



BROWN, JULIUS, a mem- 
ber of the Greenville Bar, is a 
son of Fernando Brown, who 
married Miss Ann M., daughter 
of the late H. W. Martin, sr. 
His father is a son of the late 
Rev. Samuel Brown. Julius 
was born November 18th, 1880, 
near Bethel. He was reared on 
the farm. He received his edu- 
cation al the Bethel High 
School and the University of 
North Carolina. ~ 

In the Fall of 1902 he re- 
ceived license to practice law 
and located at Bethel. After 
three j'ears of successful prac- 
tice there he removed to Green- 
ville, in 1905. Since locating 
at Greenville he has devoted 
himself strictly to his profes- 
sion and is enjoying a lucrative 
and growing business. In politics he is a democrat and though he has 
"never souglit office his friends put him forward for the nomination for 
representative in the General Assembly iji 1906, and he received a 
most flattering vote in the convention. 

He comes of a Methodist family. He is a Mason, an Odd Fellow and 
a Pythian. He has held many important lodge positions. 

He is a good lawyer, a strong advocate, a man that makes friends. 




BROWN, REVEREND SAMUEL, was born in Martin county, Sep- 
tember 2Gth, 1818. He was a son of James and Millie Brown, who 
came from New Jersey to Martin county. James Brown was a son 
of Alexander and Rebecca Brown, who settled in New Jersey from 
England. While Alexander was English, Rebecca was of Scotch parent- 
age. They came from England about 1760. Alexander was a soldier 
of the Revolution. 

At the age of twenty-one years, Samuel came to Pitt county, locating 
near what is now Bethel. Soon thereafter he married Miss Mary Ann, 
a daughter of Samuel Little. She died in 1805, and a few years after 
het death, he married Miss Rillie Hopkins. 

He lived and died on his farm, though for many years he held the 
position of County Surveyor. For more than forty years he was an 
active Methodist minister, though he had retired several years previous 
to his death. He was a strong and enthusiastic Mason. He was well 
and favorably known in Pitt and adjoining counties. Though he did 



riTT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN, 227 

not enlist in the army he was a strong supporter of the "Lost Cause." 
He died December 17th, 1907, leaving many descendants among whom 
were five great-great grand children. 

His children by his first wife were Fannie who married Robert Ward 
and after his death married Warren Andrews, F. L. who married 
Sallie Ward, John E. who married Mary E. Martin, Fernando, who 
married Ann M. Martin, and Arcenia, who married W. W. Andrews, 
and two girls, who died young; by his second wife there were two 
children one dying young, the other, Bettie, who married John Keel. 

F. L. and John E. were in the Confederate army. Fernando was 
too young for the service. 



HARDING, FORDYCE CUNNINGHAM, son of Major Henry and 
Susan Harding, was born at Aurora, Beaufort County, February 12th, 
1879. He finished his education at the University of North Carolina, 
graduating in 1898. In the meantime he had taught several schools. 

He then read law at the University and was licensed in He then 

began practice in Greenville (his parents had lived there since 1885) 

years later his brother, W. F. Harding, having finished his 

education and law course, was associated with him in the practice of 

law. In his brother located at Charlotte, since which he has 

practiced alone. Although he had never been very active politically, 
recognizing his worth in 1906, after having been a member of the 
Democratic County Executive Committee, he was elected county chair- 
man, which position he still holds. He is Chairman of the Board of 
Trustees of the Greenville Graded Schools. He is a member of the 
Methodist church, a Royal Arch Mason, a Pythian and an Odd Fellow, 
in all of which he is a prominent and useful man. 

In he married Mary Harding, daughter of the late Fred 

Harding. Thev have one child — a girl. 



LAUGHINGHOUSE, CHARLES O'HAGAN, son of J. J. and Eliza 
Laughinghouse, was born in Greenville, February 25th, 1871. His 
father is a large farmer and prominent in public aff"airs, having held a 
number of positions, been a member of the Legislature (House), and is 
now Superintendent of the State Penitentiary. His mother is a 
daughter of the late Dr. C. J. O'Hagan, a Greenville physician of na- 
tional reputation. He grew up on his father's farm, near Griniesland, 
and was educated at Chocowinity, Horner's and the University of 
Nortli Carolina. He began reading medicine under his grandfather, 
and then attended the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 1893. 
He then came to Greenville and began practice with his grandfather. 
A member of the North Carolina Medical Society, he was chairman 
of' the Section of Anatomy and Surgery in 1895. He was essayist 
of the Society in 1897; a member of the State Board of Medical Ex- 



228 



SKETCHES OF PROMINENT 



aminers from 1902 to 1908, being President of the Board from 1904 
to 1906; chairman of tlie Section of Medical Jurisprudence and State 
Medicine in 1910, and also a delegate to the meeting of the American 
Medical Association in 1910. He has been a member of the Seaboard 
Medical Association since 1903. 

Dr. Lausrliinshouse is a demociat and has served both his town and 
county, at diflferent periods, more than once as superintendent of 
health. He was elected county coroner in 1900, and has served as such 
four terms, and was (1910) elected for a fifth term, having no 
opponent. Though devoting his time almost exclusively to medicine, he 
is interested in several important enterprises. He was one of the 
organizers of the Greenville Banking and Trust Company; is interested 
in the National Bank, in the Pitt Lumber and Manufacturing Com- 
pany and in the Reflector Publishing Company. He is a Mason, an 
Odd Fellow and a Pythian. 

In 1896, he married Carrie, daughter of W. H. Dail, a prominent 
business man and farmer of Snow Hill. They have three children. 



FLANAGAN, ROY CHET- 
WYND, son of John and Mary 
Wise Flanagan, was born in 
Greenville, N. C, June 12th, 
1873. His father was a Con- 
federate soldier, was Treasurer 
of Pitt County for a number of 
terms, and founded the John 
Flanagan Buggy Company. 
His grandfather, Thomas 
Flanagan, was a farmer and a 
private in Capt. Samuel Vines' 
company in the War of 1812- 
15. His great-grandfather, 
Edward Flanagan, was a sol- 
dier of the Revolution. His 
mother is a daughter of the 
late Captain John Stanley 
Gaskill, master and owner of 
the three-masted brig "Samuel 
L. Mitchell," and was lost at 
sea with all the crew August 

24th, 1848, between New York and the Bahama Islands. 

Mr. Flanagan received his preparatory education at the common 

schools of Greenville and at the Greenville Academy. In 1891 he went 

to Washingtoji, D. C. 




PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 229 

Two years later he was appointed to a position in the Government 
Printing Office. While filling this position he attended Georgetown 
University, reading law at night, graduating with the class of 1903 
with the degree of LL.B. The Summer of 1903 attended University 
of North Carolina, and was admitted to practice in Fall of 1903 upon 
examination by the Supreme Court of North Carolina. On receipt of 
his license to practice law he located at his old home, Greenville. The 
next year, 1904, he was appointed Postmaster at Greenville, X. C, by 
President Eoosevelt, and was reappointed in 1908. He is a Republican 
in politics. In 1904 he was elected chairman of the Republican Execu- 
tive Committee and has been unanimously chosen each year since to 
this position. In 1902 there were 33 Republican votes cast in the 
county, in 1908 there were 889. He is a Royal Arch ]\Iason, an Odd 
Fellow, a Pythian and a Red Maa, being now a member of the Great 
Board of Appeals of the Great Council of Red ^len of North Carolina. 
He is a member of the Episcopal Church, and is now a vestryman of 
St. Paul's Church, Greenville, N. C. He is President of the Home 
Building and Loan Association and a bank director. In 1904 he was 
married to Miss Helen Perkins, daughter of J. J. Perkins, of Green- 
ville, N. C. Thev have two children. 



O'HAGAN, CHARLES JAMES, was born in Londonberry, Ireland, 
September IGth, 1821. His father, .John P. O'Hagan, was a newspaper 
man of that city. 

He was educated at Belfast, Ireland, and came to America in 1842. 
He soon came to North Carolina and made Greenville his home, 
though he taught school in the country several years. He began the 
study of medicine in 1843, and two years later entered the New York 
Medical College, from which he graduated in 1835, having worked his 
way through the college by studying, spending one year in college 
and practicing in Greenville the next, and thus rotating till gradu- 
ation. Then he devoted himself to the practice, making Greenville his 
home. He became a member of the State Medical Society in 1858, and 
later was its pj-esident. In the war of 1861-5 he was first surgeon 
of the Ninth Cavalry and later of the Thirty-fifth Infantry, General 
M. W. Ransom's Brigade, and surrendered at Appomattox. 

After the war he returned to his practice at Greenville. He was a 
prominent figure in reconstruction times and braved many dangers, 
personal and otherwise. Once he, with several others, were arrested 
and taken to Goldsboro before a reconstruction tribunal, charged 
with various crimes (?), but nothing detrimental resulted therefrom. 

In 1868 he was a candidate for Congress against Joseph Dixon, of 
Greene County. It was a time of bitterness and strife, and he made a 
most wonderful and bold campaign, though he had little hope of dec- 



230 SKETCHES OF PROMINENT ^^ 

tion. He served Greenville both as mayor and commissioner at differ- 
ent times. He rendered services to his people and country, both as a 
private citizen and public official. He did a very large practice, but his 
liberality and charity was a great tax upon his resources. He was an 
honored member of his profession, serving as president of the State 
Medical Society, member of the Board of Censors, member of the 
American Medical Association and six years president of the State 
Board of Medical Examiners. He was twice married. His 
first wife was Eliza Forrest, of Greene County. His second was Elvira 
Clark, of Pitt County. Both preceded him to the grave. There were' 
two children by his first wife, Eliza, wife of J. J. Laughinghouse and 
]\fartlia, and one, Charles James, Jr., by the last. He Jied December 
18th, 1900, and was buried in Cherry Hill Cemetery. An imposing 
granite monument, surmounted by a tall shaft, erected by the family, 
marks his grave. 

He enjoyed a national reputation as a physician and surgeon, and 
had been highly honored by the National American Medical Associ- 
ation. 



MOYE, DR. ELBERT ALERED, son of Elbert A. and Mary Moye, 
was born near Farmville, July 7th, 1869. His father was a farmer, 
served through the war of 1861-5 (Lieutenant Co. G. Eighth Regiment), 
member of the Legislature (House 1877, Senate 1879), and Clerk of the 
Superior Court from 1885 to 1898. His mother was a daughter of 
Newit Edwards, a farmer of Greene County. His grandfather, Alfred 
Move, was a very prominent whig of ante-bellum days, and served many 
times in both branches of the legislature. 

Dr. Moye was prepared for college at Davis's Military Institute, La- 
Grange, and graduated from the University of Nortli Carolina in 
1893. Having taken up the study of medicine, he then entered Jeffer- 
son Medical College, Philadelphia. He graduated in 1896, and then 
remained one year as resident physician in the Jefferson ^Medical 
College Hospital. He came to Greenville in 1897 and since has en- 
joyed a large and lucrative practice, to which in 1909 he added the 
drug business, having one of the most modern and best-equipped drug 
stores in the State. 

Dr. Moye has always been interested in the pro^i-ess of his town. 
He was one of the organizers of the Greenville Banking and Trust 
Company and later of the National Bank, of which he is a director. 
He was one of the organizers of the Pitt Lumber and Manufalcturing 
Company, and is a director. He was also prominent in the reorganiza- 
tion of the John Flanagan Buggy Company, which resulted in the 
erection of its present large factory and extension of business. In 
addition to his practice, drug business and interest in several enter- 
prises, he is a large farmer, practical and successful. He is a mem- 



PITT COUNTY MEX AND WOMEN. 23 i 

ber of the North Carolina Medical Society, the Pitt County Medical 
Society and a Knight of Pythias. 

In 1897, he married Hortense, a daughter of the late Alfred Forbes, 
a large merchant and farmer. They have two children living. 



COTTEN, MPvS. SALLIE SOUTHALL, daughter of Col. Thomas 
James and Susan Sims Southall, was born in Lawrenceville, Va., but 
her girlhood was spent in Murfreesboro, N. C, .and she has always 
been identified with the Old North State. She was educated at Greens- 
boro Female College, and in 1866 married Mr. Robert Randolph Cotten, 
and in 1868 moved with him to Pitt County. She rendered eflScient 
service to North Carolina as a Lady Manager, both on National and 
State Boards at the Chicago World's Fair. Was also appointed Lady 
Manager for her State at the expositions of Atlanta and Charleston. 
She is an enthusiastic believer in organized womanhood, and for years 
was associated with the Congress of Mothers, in which she held many 
offices, and remains now an Honorary Vice-President of that organiza- 
tion. She is active in the work of the N. C. Federation of Woman's 
Clubs, and for many years has been President of the End-of-Century 
Club of Greenville. She is also a member of the King's Daughters and 
the Daughters of the Confederacy. 

She is the author of The White Doe — a poem of some length, founded 
on the early history of North Carolina. She has also written many 
other poems and short stories, which were published in various maga- 
zines, but her time has been given principally to rearing her children 
and conducting her domestic affairs, and dispensing the hospitality of 
her home, Cottendale. 



CHERRY, MRS. SALLIE ANN, was born in Beaufort County, 
North Carolina, January ...., 1829. Her father, .... Johnston, 
came from England and settled at Wade's Point, then Hyde County. 
He was a merchant and was lost at sea, being bound for New York to 
buy merchandise. She was then about two years old. Her mother, 
then twice a widow, married again and moved to Greenville. 

At Greenville she began attending school and was long a pupil of 
Miss Sallie Ann Jones, a noted educator of those times. She then 
attended the Warrenton (N. C.) Female Seminary, graduating in 
1846, at the age of seventeen. Her diploma testified that she passed "a 
thorough public examination, and acquitted herself in a highly com- 
mendatory manner, in the following branches, viz.: Orthography, 
Reading, Chirography, Geography, Grammar, Arithmetic, Composition, 
Botany, Algebra, Rhetoric, Natural, Mental and Moral Pliilosophy, 
Logic, Geometry, Chemistry, Astronomy, Nat. Theology and Mythology. 
She has acquired much taste and skill in Needlework, Drawing, Paint- 
ins, and in the execution of Instrumental and Vocal Music," etc. This 



232 



SKETCHES OF PROMINENT 



was signed by N. L. Graves, A. M., and Mrs. E. B. W. Graves, Princi- 
pals, and two assistant teachers. Through school, she became one of 
the popular and brilliant young ladies of Greenville. She also found 
time to cultivate that love and talent for literature which, but for 
her apparent isolation, might have won her fame. 

November 1, 1853, she married T. R. Cherry, a -prominent young 
business man of Greenville. In her writings, just thirty years later" 
she said: "Just thirty years ago I was married. * * * An only 
child, a quiet life, a devoted Christian mother, I had as happy a heart 
as ever beat in the bosom of a bride: never giving a thought that was 
not connected with something pleasant." Marriage meant the cares 
of the wife and mother, and, devoted to those duties, she yet found 
time for literary work. She became a contributor to Godey's Lady 
Book and to the local press. She was the first Greenville subscriber 
to Demorest's Magazine. Failing eyes did not deter her in her work, 
and though totally blind the last sixteen years of her life, she con- 
tinued to write and left much verse and reminiscence, prized by her 
children. 

The following are a few extracts from her various writings contained 
in "blank" books: 

"I live in Greenville, Pitt County, North Carolina; if you will take 
the trouble to look on the map you will find the town is just 25 miles 
from Tarboro, Avhich was at tlie time I speak of our nearest point on 
the railroad." 

"Tliis (Greenville) is a beautiful town, but no attention is paid by 
the au " 

"There was only two Pianos in the town and I don't remember a 
single young lady that could play a tune on either of them. They 
were so small they would only be valued now as curiosities." 

"I had the first sewing machine — Wheeler and Wilson — that ever 
was in Greenville." 

"Jewels and grain, rich shining ores, 

Are trophies from our State's deep stores — 

Resplendent shineth every gem — 

Victoria's glittering diadem 

In all its setting, hath no light 

So rare as thine, strange Hiddenite." 

"It is impossible even to sit out at niglit on some of tlie porches 
without having the olfactories grievously offended." 

In 1889 she was left a widow. Slie died December 30th, 1908, leaving 
three children. 

The publication of her verse and reminiscenses would be a valuable 
acquisition to our literature. 



PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 233 

YELLOWLY, COLONEL EDWARD C, was born in Martin County, 
N. C. He came to Greenville as a boy to attend the Greenville Acad- 
emy, then taught by Professor J. M. Lovejoy. When Professor Lovejoy 
went to Pittsboro he continued under him until prepared for the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina, which he then entered. Taking up the study 
of law, he was licensed to practice in 1843. Locating at Greenville, he 
was soon appointed County Attorney. Prominence and rivalry led to a 
challenge to fight a duel by by H. F. Harris, which resulted in the death 
of Harris, October 1st, 1847. (See Sketches of Pitt County, page 110.) 
He was averse to fighting and this sad afi"air seemed to affect him 
through life. 

May 16th, 1861, he was commissioned Captain to raise a company for 
the war, which became Company G, Eighth Regiment, and went to 
Hatteras, where it saw hard service. In 1863 he was a candidate for 
the Confederate Congress, his opponent being R. R. Bridgers. His 
friends claimed he was elected, but cheated out of it and wanted him to 
contest, but preferring field duty, he would not contest. August 3d, 
1S63, he was promoted Major of the regiment. October 1st, 1863, he 
was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel of the Sixty-eighth Regiment. He 
saw much service and had to contend with a dissatisfaction among some 
troops while stationed in the north of the Albemarle section that almost 
resulted in open mutiny. He was a member of the Legislature (Housed 
in 1865. 

After the wai; he devoted himself to his practice and farm interests, 
which were large. In his latter years his health failed, and at Ashe- 
viile. North Carolina, where he had gone to recuperate, he died Sep- 
tember 23d, 1885, aged about 70 years. His remains were brought to 
Greenville and buried in Cherry Hill Cemetery. 

He never married. 



WILLIAMS, JOHN, was a son of Robert Williams, who settled near 
Falkland in 1727. He was early prominent in local afi"airs and a mem- 
ber of the Pitt County Committee of Safety in 1774. He also served 
on other important committees and as early as 1777 was a Justice of 
the Peace. He was a member of the first State Legislature, being in 
the Commons, and also in 1778-9-80 and 81. He was in the Senate in 
1784-5 and again in 1787. (Date of birth and death not accessible.) 



IIOBERSON, W'lLLIAM, was a member of the Pitt County Commit- 
tee of Safety in 1774, and also a member of the Committee recommended 
by the Continental Congress — one of the committee on building court- 
house, prison and stocks at Martinborough, 1774 — was a delegate to 
New Berne, April 3d, 1775 — member of the Provincial Congress and a 
member of the "County Committee of Safety, Intelligence and Observa- 



234 



SKETCHES OF PROMINENT 



tion" — member of the Halifax Congress, April 4th, 1776, and November 
12th, 1776 — member first State Legislature, 1777, being in the Com- 
mons — again in 1778, but resigned on being elected entry taker. 
(Date of birth and deatli not accessible.) 




COX, DR. BERIAH THAD- 
DEUS, son of Josiah and Sal- 
lie Ann Cox, was born July 
30th, 1863, near Handcoek's 
Ciuirch, in Pitt County, N. C. 
His father was a farmer, 
and was also a Confederate sol- 
dier in Company "I," Sixty- 
seventh Regiment. In 1864 he 
was transferred to Kinston, N. 
('., where he served as guard 
over captured Confederate de- 
serters. ~ 

His grandfather was Joseph 
Cox, and his great-grandfather 
was Abraham Cox, both of 
w h o m were farmers. His 
father's mother was Nancy 
Handcock, daughter of Eld. 
James Handcock, son of Gen- 
eral Handcock, who, in the set- 
tlement of this section of the State, participated in many conflicts with 
the Indians; having been killed near Snow Hill, N. C, while leading 
his men in battle, driving back the Indians. 

His mother was a daughter of Noah Tyson, who was the son of 
Eld. Noah Tyson, a Baptist minister. The latter was long pastor of 
Great Swamp Church, near Greenville. In the y6ar 1792 he preached 
189 funerals, and 84 in 1793. 

Dr. Cox was prepared for college in Mrs. Mary Smith's school, near 
Coxville, N. C, and matriculated at the University of North Carolina 
in the fall of 1884, pursuing his college course there for two years. 
While at the University he began reading medicine under Dr. T. W. 
Harris. 

In October, 1886, he entered the University of Maryland to continue 
his course in medicine. During the vacation of 1887 he read under 
Drs. C. J. O'Hagan and F, W. Brown, at Greenville. The fall of that 
year lie returned to the University of Maryland, where he graduated 
in April, 1888. He went before the State Board of Medical Examiners 
for North Carolina the following May. Successfully passing his ex- 
aminations, he returned to his father's homestead and begun the prac- 



PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 285 

tice of his profession, continuing there until 1899, when he located at 
Winterville. In the year 1901 he added the drug business to his prac- 
tice. On February 12, 1904, his drug store and office, with contents, 
were totally destroyed by fire. 

He served as County Superintendent of Health for three years — Sep- 
tember 1st, 1890-Septeniber lat, 1893. 

He has taken little active interest in politics, but in 1908 he re- 
ceived the Democratic nomination for the Legislature (House) and was 
elected over his opponent by 1,785 majority, leading all candidates for 
the Legislature for that year. He declined to again be a candidate in 
1910. While in the Legislature he served on several very important 
committees. Among the bills he introduced was the one creating vital 
statistics for cities and towns of North Carolina containing one thou- 
sand or more inhabitants. 

He is a farmer and is interested in many of Winterville's industries, 
being an officer and stockholder in several. He gave liberally in the 
building of Winterville High School, being elected president of the first 
board of trustees. 

He is a member of the North Carolina Medical Society, and also the 
Pitt County Medical Society, having served as both president and vice- 
president of the latter. 

In 1891 he married Mary V. Smith, a daughter of W. H. and Mrs. 
Mary Smith. They have four children, all daughters. The oldest, Miss 
Vehetia, is attending the Salem (N. C.) Female College, and, the sec- 
ond, Miss Jeannette, is attending the State Normal and Industrial Col- 
lege at Greensboro. 



WHICH ARD, DAVID JORDAN, son of David F. and Violetta (Jor- 
dan) Whichard, was born in Greenville, August 8th, 1862. His father 
entered the Confederate army as a private in Company C, Forty-fourth 
regiment, and was promoted Commissary Sergeant. After the war he 
served as deputy sheriff", deputy Register and Register of Deeds. His 
mother was a daughter of A. G. Jordan, a farmer and school teacher, 
of Pactolus. 

Mr. Whichard secured a good common school education, mostly under 
his mother, who was one of Greenville's pioneer teachers, and entered a 
print shop, becoming part owner of a newspaper, before he was si.xteen 
years old. After a partnership of several years, he bought the interest 
of his brother. Their first paper was the Greenville Express, whicii 
became the Eastern Beflector in 1882, and also the Daily Reflector in 
1894, both of which were merged into a stock company in 1910. He has 
served two terms as Clerk to the Board of Aldermen, one terra Presi- 
dent of the Chamber of Commerce and also has been President of the 
North Carolina Press Association. He is a member of the Baptist 
church, has been Superintendent of the Sunday School and for twenty- 



230 



SKETCHES OP PROMINENT 



six years one of its deacons. He is a Royal Arch Mason. Soon after 
tlie building of a telegraph line from Tarboro, he became operator, and 
has continued with the Western Union since it bought the line, and for 
some time was express agent. 

In ^^88, he married Hennie, daughter of the late H. A. Sutton, and 
they nave four children. His oldest son, David J., Sr., has served two 
terms as Page in tlie General Assembly. 



COX, AMOS GRAVES, son 
of John C. and Elizabeth Cox, 
was born July 12th, 1855. 
His father was a farmer and 
mechanic, with an inventive 
turn of mind. He invented 
and manufactured the first 
wlieat tlireshers ever sold in 
Pitt County. Another inven- 
tion was a machine that beat 
out wheat, without cutting it 
from the field, and also sacked 
it. He sold this patent to 
Western people. His last and 
most successful invention was 
improvements in cotton plant- 
ers, and the fame of Cox's 
planter is known all over the 
South. He was a Confederate 
soldier, in Company G, Eighth 
Regiment. He also served the 
county as surveyor. His grandfather, Amos Cox, was also a farmer. 
His mother was a daughter of Graves Gardner, a farmer. 

Mr. Cox's early life was spent on the farm, attending the country 
school and working around the shop and farm. When grown he worked 
as a carpenter for some time, but marrying he settled down on the 
farm, began making cotton planters and selling them through the 
country. In 1885 he began merchandising in a little store 12 x 16 feet. 
Succeeding to his father's business, he enlarged and extended it and it 
grew. A post-oflice was established at his place of business in 1889 
and the place named Winterville. He was postmaster and so con- 
tinued for many years. '1 he railroad was extended from Greenville to 
Kinston in 1890. A siding was given him for shipping purposes, there 
being nothing there but a woodrack. About 1894 he moved his busi- 
ness to tlie railroad, organized the A. G. Cox Manufacturing Company, 
for the manufacture of planters, carts, wagons and other farm imple- 
ments. Soon a buggy manufactory followed. Having patented a fer- 




PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 237 

tilizer distributor, that was manufactured there. A small school had 
been kept for some years, but in 1899 it was succeeded by the Winter- 
ville High School, which is now a large and successful school under 
the direction of the Xeuse Baptist Association. About this time or 
before a flour mill had been erected, being the only one in the ^county. 
A cigar factory had also been organized and was in successful opera- 
tion, but the tobacco trust soon made it unprofitable and work was 
discontinued. In 1906 an oil mill was built, and it was the first one in 
the county. The same year a bank was organized. In the inaugura- 
tion of all these enterprises he was the moving spirit, a large stock- 
holder, an officer and a prime promoter of their success. He has seen 
Winterville grow from a woodrack fifteen years ago to a town, now 
with perhaps 500 people, with a number of creditable and successful 
enterprises, in all of which he is greatly interested. He has never 
sought political honors, but in 1898 he was elected a member of the 
County Board of Education, which position he has held since and has 
been chairman since 1899. He has served his people in other minor 
capacities. 

He has been a deacon in the Baptist church twenty years. He is a 
]NTaster Mason, was a Granger and Alliance-man and is a member of the 
Farmers' Union. He married Susan A. Jackson, daughter of Allen 
Jackson, a farmer. They have five children. Fountain F., the oldest 
son, is completing his education at Wake Forest College; his second, 
Roy, is Superintendent of the A. G. Cox Manufacturing Company. 



KING, HENRY THOMAS, fourth son of Thomas and Martha A. 
(Turnage) King, was born near what is now Farmville, November 9th, 
1861. He received a common school education and began life in a coun- 
try store. After eight years of clerking and merchandising, he went to 
Tarboro, in January, 1889, and established The Carolina Banner, a 
weekly newspaper, which was discontinued after two years. In 1892 he 
was appointed deputy sheriff by his brother, R. W. King, who had been 
elected sheriff of Pitt County. He held this position two terms, or 
four years. January, 1895, he bought The Index, a weekly paper at 
Greenville, from Andrew Joyner, changed the name to King's Weekly, 
and published it as a weekly, semi-weekly, tri-weekly or daily until 
the fall of 1907, when it was discontinued. In 1900 he was appointed 
a State fertilizer inspector and served two years. In 1901, to fill a 
vacancy, he was elected a member of the Board of Aldermen of Green- 
ville and served one year. In 1902 he was elected a member of the 
Legislature (House) — was an independent candidate for the same in 
1904 and the Republican candidate for the State Senate in 1906., He is 
now a United States Commissioner, appointed by the late Judge Thomas 
R. Purnell. He is a member of the Christian (Disciple) church, and in 
1906-7 published The Watch Tower as a church paper. 



238 



SKETCHES OF PROMINENT 



He is now (I'JIO) tlie Republican candidate for Congress in the First 
District. 

June 27t]i, 1901, he married Blanche, daughter of William F. and 
Eunice L. fl.atliani) Draughon. They liave two children — daugliters — 
livino-. 



MOORE, LARRY I., was 
born near Wilson, March 14th, 
1870. His father, Elder An- 
drew J. Moore, was a native of 
Pit4 County, having been born 
near Falkland and lived there 
many years. His grandfather, 
Ichabod Moore^ was many years 
a Primitive Baptist minister, 
serving churches in the county. 
Ills father was a Confederate 
soldier, Captain of Company 
F, Sixty-first North Carolina 
Regiment. He was severely 
wounded near Charleston and 
was retired from active service. 
Later he was recruiting officer 
in Pitt and adjoining counties. 
After the war he became a min- 
ister of the Primitive Baptist 
Church and has been serving 
churches in Eastern Carolina forty years or more. His mother, Mrs. 
Elizabeth Moore, is a daughter of the late Larry D. Farmer, of Wilson. 
When Mr. Moore was about eight years old his parents moved to 
Whitaker's, N. C, where they still reside. His father taught a high 
school at Whitaker's many years, and there he got his education. 
When sixteen years old he entered the railroad service at Whitaker's 
as telegraph operator and agent, was later promoted to the office at 
Wilmington, where he remained until he was twenty-one years old. 
He then took up the study of law, and after taking the course at 
Chapel Hill was licensed to practice. 

He located at Greenville and soon entered upon a successful practice. 
He always took great interest in politics, and in 1898 was the Demo- 
cratic nominee for Solicitor in the Third (Pitt) Judicial District. He 
was elected, and again elected in 1902, and again in 1906. From 1904 
to 190G he was Chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee of 
Pitt county. He had taken an active part in advocating and helping 
get the Norfolk and Southern lailroad to pass through Greenville and 
was its local attorney. Being offered a general attorjieyship, requiring 




PITT COUNTY MEx\ A-\l> WOMEN. 239 

him to locate at New Berne, he resigned the Solicitorship in 1907, ac- 
cepted the attornejship offered and soon thereafter moved to Xew 
Berne. 

He is very prominent in fraternal orders and has been highly hon- 
ored by them. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fel 
lows, Knights of Pythias, Masons, belonging to the Blue Lodge and 
Chapter at Greenville, Knights Templars Mount Lebanon Lodge at 
Wilson and the Shrine Oasis Temple at Charlotte, and is a 32d degree 
Mason, Scottish Rite. 

Besides his large law practice, he has many other interests and is a 
stockholder and director in several important enterprises. He was one 
of the organizers of the Greenville Banking and Trust Company and its 
first President. He was also interested in the organization of the 
National Bank of Greenville. 

He married Miss Ella, youngest daughter of Colonel and Mrs. W. M. 
King, of Greenville, and has an interesting family of three children, 
two boys and a girl. 



RAGSDALE, WILLIAM HENRY, son of Smith G. and Amanda H. 
Ragsdale, was born in Granville County, North Carolina, March 3d, 
1855. His father was a farmer, and in the Civil War was a member 
of the Senior Reserves. His mother was a daughter of Captain W. H. 
Royster. 

Professor Ragsdale was raised on the farm, working and attending 
the common schools until he entered Wake Forest, from which he grad- 
uated in 1880. He then accepted the principalship of Vine Hill Acad- 
emy, at Scotland Neck, which position he held three years. He then 
came to Greenville and accepted the v principalship of the old Male 
Academy, which he held two years. In 1885 he married and returned 
to Granville Coimty, where he taught until he came back to Greenville 
in 1891, again taking charge of the old ^Male Academy. The same year 
he was elected County Superintendent of Education. He continued to 
teach and hold the position of County Superintendent except the years 
1898-9, until 1903, when the Board of Education required him to give 
all his time to the work, which he has since then. He has now been 
Superintendent scAenteen years. 

He has always been active in educational work. In 1899 he was 
President of the North Carolina Teachers' Assembly, which met that 
year at Morehead City. The first four weeks' Teachers' Institute in the 
State was instituted and held by him at Winterville in the summer of 
1901. In 1906 he was elected Chairman of the State Text-book Com- 
mission for five years. He was one of the strongest supporters of the 
movement that led to the establishment of the East Carolina Teachers' 
Training School at Greenville, and last year was selected to teach in 
that department of the Summer School, known as School Management. 

Professor Ragsdale is a member of the Baptist church, is one of its 



240 SKETCHES OF PROMINENT 

deacons, and has been one of its Sunday School teachers twenty-five 
years. lie is an Odd Fellow and a Blue Lodge and Royal Arch 
Mason. He is widely and well known in school circles and in much 
demand as a speaker on any educational topic, having made many 
addresses for the advancement of educational work in many counties. 
He has held and assisted in many teachers' institutes. 

September 16th, 1885, he married Bettie, a daugliter of the late 
H. A. and Elizabeth Sutton, of Greenville. She died June 2d, 1902. 
They liad five children, all living. 



COBB, ROBERT JOHN, son of James C. and Mary E. Cobb, was born 
on the farm in what is now Beaver Dam township, June 10th, 1855. 
His fatlier was a farmer and merchant, who rose to competency and 
prominence in his community by industry and integrity. 

]\Ir. Cobb's educational advantages were very limited. He worked 
on the farm and attended the country schools. In 1871, his father 
began business building a store on his farm. In 1876, Robert was 
clerk in the store and there began his business career. This business 
was successful and he became a partner with his father, the firm being 
J. C. Cobb & Son. In 1890 they opened business in Greenville with 
Robert as manager as he had been of the business in the country. The 
next year he was one of the prime movers in the establishment of a 
tobacco market in Greenville. He was not only a large stockholder in 
the old Greenville Warehouse Company, but was active in promoting 
its success. In 1900 he retired from the mercantile business. The same 
year he M'as elected a member of the Board of Aldermen, and was one 
of the principal stockholders and organizers of the Greenville Banking 
and Trust Company: He was made a director and elected its first 
cashier, which position lie held until elected its president in 1906, 
which position he held two years, and then retired. In 1902 tlie Build- 
ing and Lumber Company was organized with him as president. This 
firm sold out its business in 1909. In 1903 he did a great help towards 
the graded school. When those bonds were not finding buyers he came 
forward and took them, thus relieving the directors of much embarrass- 
ment. He is a director of the school and has been since its organiza- 
tion. He is also a director, stockholder and treasurer of the Farmers 
Consolidated Tobacco Company, an organization for the purpose of con- 
ducting warehouses for the sale of farmers' tobacco. In 1908 he took 
large stock in the Cabinet Veneer Company, was prominent in its or- 
ganization and was elected vice-president. All these enterprises have 
been very successful and add much to progress and prosperity of 
Greenville. He is a member of the firm of York & Cobb, contractors 
and builders, which does a large business. Prominent among the work 
of this firm are the entire buildings of the East Carolina Teachers 



PITT COUNTS xvfEN AJ!^D WOMEN. 241 

Training School and the white graded school building at Tarboro. He 
is also interested in large farming operations and stock raising. 

In 1887 he married Mollie A., daughter of Charles D. Rountree, 
a well-known citizen of Greenville. They have four children, Cecil R. 
Cobb being the head clerk at the Cabinet Veneer Company. 



KIKG, ALLIE (VINES), daughter of Colonel Samuel and Polly 
(May) Vines, was born in Pitt County (now Falkland Township), 
April, 1803. Colonel Vines was a large planter and slave-owner, a 
man of prominence and influence. He was a captain in the war of 
1812-15, and afterwards long colonel of militia. He was born in 1781 
and died in January, 1863, aged over 82 years. Her mother was a 
daughter of Major Benjamin May. 

Allie Vines' education was that afforded by the best schools of her 
times and community. She was the oldest of a family of thirteen 
daughters and two sons. Thus her early life and training was such 
as to greatly fit her for the duties and cares that were later to fall 
upon her. February 13th, 1823, she married John King, the only child 
of Thomas and Polly (Truss) King. Thomas King was a planter, suc- 
ceeding to his father's estates. His father, Abram King, was one of 
the early settlers on Tyson's creek, a large planter and a man of promi- 
nence. John King died June 15th, 1845, leaving his widow with nine 
children, the only one grown dying the following January, He was 
studying medicine at Cincinnati and filled an unknown grave. The task 
of rearing and educating the others was no small responsibility. An- 
other sorrow v/as added to her already great burden, when in 1853, War- 
ren, her fourth son, died too from home. After years of cares, sorrows 
and trials, she saw her other children grown, and prospects for a bright 
future. But war now was over the land and in October, 1864, claimed 
another son, Thomas, as one of its prey. And again in less than two 
short years (June, 1866), death claimed Mary, one of her married 
daughters. The next few succeeding years that cast the blight of re- 
construction over the South were years of anxiety for her, for she yet 
had three sons and they were prominent actors in the drama of tiiose 
times. But her j^ears of cares and sacrifices were partially rewarded 
in seeing these sons honored by their fellow-men. That was glory for 
her. Few mothers have been rewarded more in the lives they built, and 
in their fruits. (See sketches of Thomas King, Captain John King, 
Colonel William M. King and Dr. Robert W. King.) Her daugliters 
were Mary (married G. W. Parker), Nancy W. (married B. F. Moore), 
and Allie V. (married Colonel Walter Newton). 

In 187.., when attempting to get into her buggy, she had a fall and 

suffered a fracture of the thigh. Slie had stopped on the roadside to 

gather some shrubs and, being by herself, it was some little while before 

help came. The fracture never healed and after much suffering she 

16 



•242 SKETCHES OF PROMINENT 

died February, 1883, and was buried in the family cemetery beside her 
husband. 

Earlj' in life she became a member of the Christian (Disciple) churcli 
and ever lived a consistent and consecrated Cliristian. Her virtues 
were many — -a ministering angel to the sufTering, a helping hand to the 
nefedy, obedient to every call of duty. Of a strong cultured mind, tender 
heart and great goodness, hers was a life of duty — of duty performed, 
of cares not unmixed with sorrow and suffering — rewarded with chil- 
dren, and children's children, to rise up and call her blessed, and with 
the great promise of life eternal. 



KING, COLONEL WILLIAM MAY, the sixth child of John and 
Aliie (V.) King, was born at the old King homestead, November 18th, 
1833. He received a good common school education and began life as 
an overseer. After marrying lie settled down as a farmer. In the war 
of 1861-5 he was assigned to home duty but for a short while was at 
Camp Mangum at Raleigh. He was afterwards colonel of the militia. 
In 1866 Governor Holden appointed him a Justice of the Peace and 
by appointment and election he held this positio^i many years. In 1870 
he was elected a County Commissioner and was reelected in 1872. In 
1874 he was elected one of Pitt's representatives in the Constitutional 
Convention, which met the next year. As an independent candidate 
for sheriff he was defeated in 1880, but was elected in 1882 and again 
in 1884 and again in 1886. In 1892 he w-as voted for for the State 
Senate, but was not an active candidate. In 1894 he was elected on tlie 
populist ticket register of deeds for the county and in 1890 was elected 
a countj' commissioner. Since then he has not been active in politics. 
Until elected sheriff he had always lived on his farm and devoted his 
time to farming, with the addition of merchandising a few years at 
home. After being elected sheriff he moved to Greenville and has since 
lived there. He has always taken an active interest in public affairs 
and those pertaining to farmers. He was a prominent Granger, and 
later an Allianceman. Pie is a Royal Arch Mason and a member of 
the Universalist church. 

November 18th, 1856, he married Almeta, daughter of Howell and 
Dolpliia (Newton) Peebles. November 17th, 1906, they celebrated tlieir 
Golden Wedding, with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren 
present. 1 hey have had eight children, four of whom are living. 

Colonel King is a very large man, weighing near 275 pounds. Mrs. 
King is also large and has weighed over 200. Their children are all 
of large stature and the family would average 200 pounds each. He is 
6 feet 2 inches tall and so well proportioned that he does not appear 
to be a big man, unless at close distance. 



PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 243 

WHITE, -SA^klUEL TILDEX, ex-treasurer of Pitt County, was born 
near Greenville, December 30th, 1873. He comes of old English and 
Revolutionary stock. His great-great-grandfather was a resident of 
Craven county long before the Revolution and fought for Independence; 
his great-grandfather, James A. White, was a soldier of the war of 
1812-15 and for a time did duty at Beacon Island; his grandfather 
was James S. White, and his father. Captain Charles A. White, of 
Company E, Sixty-seventh Regiment, North Carolina Confederate 
troops. Captain White was a Craven county man, but came to Pitt 
county after the war. He married Miss Louisa A. Corey. On liis farm 
near Greenville, Samuel was born, being the third son. 

Mr. White's educational advantages were limited, and at the age of 
fourteen he entered his father's store, in Greenville, where he clerked 
until he succeeded to the business. This business he conducted with 
marked success until he sold out and devoted his time to his other 
interests. 

After a hard fight in 1904, the democratic county convention nomi- 
nated him for treasurer. At the following election he was elected, and 
has been twice re-elected — in 1906 and 1908. At eacli convention he 
won his nomination over some of the best and most popular men in the 
county. 

As a member of fraternal orders, he is prominent and has been highly 
honored. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 
Knights of Pythias and the Independent Order of Red ]\Icn. He now 
occupies the exalted position of Great Sachem of the State Council of 
Red Men of North Carolina, 

In 1900 he married Miss Annie W. Sheppard, daughter of the late 
Henry Sheppard. She died in 1906, leaving two children. 



KING, DR. ROBERT WILLIA]\IS, the seventh child of John and 
Allie (V.) King, was born at the old King homestead, November l.lth, 
1835. He read medicine and graduated from the best colleges of the 
times. He located at Wilson, North Carolina, and was a surgeon in 
the war of 1861-5. He took much interest in public affairs, was very 
popular and a good speaker. lie was twice chairman of the county 
democratic executive committee and was later twice elected to the State 
Senate. In 1890 he was prominently mentioned for the democratic 
nomination for Representative in Congress, from the second vjlistrict. 
He enjoyed a large practice, and while visiting one of his patients in 
1890 he suffered a fall and fractured his collarbone. From this injury, 
and complications, he died, January lOtli, 1891. He was buried in tlie 
Wilson cemetery. He was a member of the Christian (Disciple) church 
■ and took great interest in its progress. He was a prominent Mason. 
In 1855 he married Carrie M. Buyum, who died a few years since. 
Thev had two children — daughters, both living. 



244 SKETCHES OF PROMINENT 

KING, THOMAS, the third child of John and Allie (V.) King, was 
born at the old King homestead, April 28th, 1828. He received a good 
common school education and began life as a farmer, a few years later 
adding merchandising. Taking great interest in all affairs of his coun- 
try he never sought office, but was content to serve his people in humble 
capacities, and among such Avas tliat of school committeeman. He was 
a whig and strong Union man, but when the inevitable came, he readily 
volunteered, May 15th, 1862, as a private in Company D, Forty-fourth 
Regiment. After a short stay at Camp Mangum, Raleigh, his regiment 
went to Tarboro, and while doing duty in that section was at Tranters 
creek, when Colonel George B. Singletary was killed. The regiment 
soon went to Virginia and did duty about Richmond and vicinity, being 
in many of the hard-fought and bloody battles of the war. On the death 
of General Stonewall Jackson, Company D, Forty-fourth Regiment was 
the Guard of Honor while his body lay in state in the Capitol at Rich- 
mond. In a skirmish on Squirrel Level road, near Petersburg, October 
8th, 1864, he was mortally wounded, dying October 24th, 1864. Though 
that was his first wound, he had many narrow escapes, shots through 
his clothes and once a ball pierced a Testament in his upper left vest 
pocket and lodged against his flesh. Enlisting as a private he soon 
became lieutenant and later often commanded the company. While in 
the army he came within a few votes of the whig nomination for sheriff 
of his county, by his friends at home. He was a Mason and a member 
of the Christian (Disciple) Church. 

May 11th, 1848, he married Martha A., daughter of Moses and 
Martha A. (Briley) Turnage. Moses Turnage was a planter, of Welsh 
descent and a soldier in the war of 1812-15 (in Captain Samuel Vines' 
Company). They had four children, all sons. 



MOORING, GUILFORD MORTIMER, son of William L. and Cath- 
erine Mooring, was born February 1st, 1847. His father and his grand- 
father, John Mooring, Avere large and prosperous farmers. 

Mr. Mooring received a common school education, working on the 
farm until the spring of 1864, when seventeen years old he enlisted in 
Company G, Eighteenth Regiment. He went through the last year of 
the war and was never wounded, though while on picket duty a ball so 
closely grazed his face that he felt its force. He was in twenty-two 
battles and one of the color-bearers of his regiment. The regiment had 
ten color-bearers, only two of whom lived to surrender with General 
Johnston. Of Company G, there were only three men present. He then 
returned home and went back to farming. He soon thereafter began 
his public career as a justice of the peace, which position he held sev- 
eral years. He was elected a county commissioner in 1876 and in Sep- 
tember, 1877, he was appointed sheriff to fill the unexpired term of 
Sheriff E. A. Wilson. In the democratic convention that year there was 



PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 245 

some trouble over the nomination for sheriff, and he refused to let his 
name go before the second convention. He was not long out of the 
sheriff's office before he was again elected a county commissioner, which 
position he held many years. In 1S98 he was elected sheriff, but de- 
clined a renomination in 1900. He then returned to his farm where he 
remained out of politics until 1910, when he was elected a repre- 
sentative in the Legislature. For a number of years he has been a 
member of the Pension Board of the county, which board passes upon 
the eligibility of Confederate soldiers for pensions from the State. 

In 1873 he married Josephine Moore, daughter of the late Samuel 
Moore, a farmer. She died in December, 1907. They had eight children, 
all of whom are living. 

KING, JOHN, third son of John and Allie V. King, was born Febru- 
ary 6th, 1830. He received a common school education and after a 
short experience as clerk in a store at Falkland began business for him- 
self. After a few years he sold out that business to devote his time 
to his farming interests. He was Captain of militia in 18G0, and during 
the war, 1861-5, he was assessor of taxes "in kind." For several years 
after the war he was in the mercantile business, moving to Tarboro 
about 1867. On the death of his wife he returned to his farm near 
Falkland. He was Associate Justice of the Pitt County Inferior Court 
several years. In 1882 he was elected to the State Senate as an inde- 
pendent, serving one term, after which he did not take an active in- 
terest in political affairs. During his life he performed many minor 
public duties, and was many years a Justice of the Peace. He was a 
member of the Christian (Disciple) church and a MasoH. He took 
great interest in the Grange and its work, was Master of his local and 
also of the County Grange and was for some time County Lecturer. He 
was primarily a farmer and loved his farm, and often interested in 
other business, practically lived and died a farmer. His was an ideal 
farm life. Never considered wealthy, his life was one of comfort and 
' plenty and the respect and esteem of all. 

He was thrice married. His first wife was Martha Joyner, daughter 
of Abram Joyner, his second was Bettie Cobb, of Edgecombe, and his 
third was Fannie Bynum, daughter of Allen Bynum, all of whom pre- 
ceded him to the grave. He died June 25tli, 1910, leaving one daughter 
by his first wife, two sons and a daughter by his second and three sons 
by his last. 

One of his sons, George B, King, is a lawyer, was County Superin- 
tendent of Schools, member of the legislature (House) of 1899, Private 
Secretary to W. A. B. Branch in Congress from 1891 to 1895, postmaster 
at Greenville from 1895 to 1899 and now holds a government position at 
Washington, D. C. 



246 



SKETCHES OF PROMINENT 




FLEMING, JAMES LEON I 
DAS, son of Leonidas and 
Harriet E. Fleniinji, was born 
November 1st, 1867. His 
father was a farmer, a Con- 
federate soldier, in Company 
IT, Twenty-seventh Eegiment, 
and a County commissioner sev- 
eral years. His mother was a 
daughter of Major Jones, a 
farmer. Mr. Fleming was 
raised on the farm and at- 
tended school at Greenville, 
lie graduated from Wake For- 
est College and tlieu taught 
school a year. He then studied 
hxw at the University of North 
Carolina and was licensed in 
1892. He located at Green- 
ville, and was soon elected 
mayor. He served more than 
one term. When the Inferior 
Court was practically re-established, he was elected solicitor, but the 
court never sat. He was twice a member of the Board of Education. 
In 1904, lie was the democratic nominee for the State Senate and 
elected. He was re-elected in 1906, but declined a renomination in 
1908. After being elected to the Senate in 1906, he began the work 
of getting the bill for the establishment of a State school in the east. 
He prepared the bill, fought for it in season and out of season, before 
the committees and in the Senate. The result was a bill providing 
for the establishment of The East Carolina Teachers' Training School. 
His next work was to get it for Greenville. In this he was ably sec- 
onded and zealously supported and it was won. The East Carolina 
Teachers' Training School was built at Greenville. It Was his crown- 
ing achievement and he saw the fulfillment of his faith and works. 
But only for a short while. In the prime of life and usefulness his 
life went out. He was killed in an automobile accident, November 
5th, 1909, about a mile from Greenville, on the old plank road. He 
died instantly, being thrown some distance, breaking his neck. Two 
other deaths resulted from that accident, and the fourth escaped 
almost, miraculously. 

He was a Mason, a Pythian and an Odd Fellow. He was a good 
lawjer, a forceful and pleasant speaker and a staunch friend. 

In 1899 he married Lula White, daughter of Captain C. A. White. 
They had three children, two girls and a boy. 



PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 247 

SMITH, MARY, daughter of Edward and Sarah Nelson, was born 
in Craven County, North Carolina, October 27, 1825. Her father was 
a descendant of the Nelsons, of Kent, England, and her mother was 
a daughter of Charles Reach. Though her education was limited she 
began the work of teaching in 1845. The next year, 1846, she mar 
ried William H. Smith, of Pitt county, and of course became a Pitt 
count}' woman. She continued to teach and having never studied 
grammar, mastered it by teaching it. Family duties made her give up 
teaching herself, but she employed a teacher and continued tlie school 
until 1869, when circumstances forced the school to discontinue. Three 
cliildren had married, but there were still seven at home, four of whom 
had never attended school. Determined they should know something, 
in 1870, she fitted up an upstairs room for school purposes, but with 
room for her spinning wheel. With no servant and all the household 
v.-ork, including preparing the three meals each day, she found time 
for three hours in the forenoon and three in the afternoon for teaching 
and carding and spinning when not hearing recitations. The secret tliat 
she was teaching a school was soon out and neighbors' children began 
to come. Soon she had no time for carding and spinning nor place for 
her wheel, for the room was full of children. She had to occupy the 
old schoolhouse and on the first day the attendance was over forty. 
About tliis time an old gentleman, John G. Elliot, a good Latin scliolar 
and fine mathematician, too old for active work, visited her and made 
it his home. Under him, she studied Latin, algebra, geometry and 
surveying. She was soon able to teach them and prepared lier children 
for college. For eighteen years she taught, and six of her cliildren 
and two of her grandchildren were teachers. At some time afterwards 
she again taught her last school being in 1891, she then being sixty-six 
years old. 

In lier late years she conceived the idea of building a church at 
Winterville. A strong and earnest church woman and worker, she 
saw that church completed and dedicated, an enduring monument to 
her zeal and energj'. Monday, October 2d, 1905, she saw the dedica- 
tion and consecration of that church. One of her sons. Reverend 
Claudius Smith, of Washington, D. C, and one of her grandsons, 
Reverend William E. Cox, whose ordination to the priesthood, lier son 
preaching the sermon, she had witnessed the day before at Greenville, 
and Bishop Strange, took part in these services. After these services, 
a family reunion dinner, with a number of friends and relatives was 
had on the grounds. Her work on earth was nearing its close. Many 
a great life had accomplished less. A more than fourscore life, filled 
with usefulness, service and blessings was ending. Ready to meet the 
Afaster, she obeyed his call, Monday, February, 18th, 1907. 

She builded better than she knew. 



248 SKETCHES OF PROMINENT 

JOYNER, OLTHUS LEELAND, son of Jacob and Mary Joyner, was 
born near Farmville, N. C, February 12th, 1869. His father, as was 
his grandfather, Aaron Joyner, was a planter. When the civil war 
came he was one of the early volunteers, joining the Tar River Boys, 
who went to Hatteras, were later captured and sent to Governor's 
Island then to Fort Warren near Boston. Being exchanged, he again • 
volunteered and served throughout the war. His motlier was a daughter 
of Benjamin H. and Nancy (Cunningham) Sugg, of Greene county. 

Receiving a good common school education he early embarked into 
the tobacco business, being one of the pioneer tobacco men and ware- 
housemen of Greenville, and the only man then connected with the 
market who is so connected today. In 1891 he with R. J. Coble and 
others organized a company for establishing a tobacco market, the old 
Greenville Warehouse being built. He was one of the first warehouse- 
men. After many years on the market as a warehouseman, in 1903 he 
planned the organization of The Farmers Consolidated Tobacco Co., and 
that season it began business with one warehouse. The business 
has continued to grow and expand until it operates three warehouses 
in Greenville, one in Wilson, two in Kinston, one in Robersonville and 
one in Washington, and last season its total sales were 14 million 
pounds. From the beginning, he has been President and General Man- 
ager. He has also found time to engage in other enterprises. He is 
also a large farmer and stock raiser. One secret of his success has 
been advertising. He well knows and understands its value, and is a 
liberal, persistent and judicious advertiser. In June, 1892, he married 
Annie Lyon, daughter of A. A. and Anastia Forbes. Mrs. Joyner's 
father is a noted musician and served throughout the civil war. 



CLARKE HENRY S., was born in Beaufort county, 18—. He re- 
ceived a fine college education, was a large farmer and a lawyer. He 
represented Beaufort county in the legislature (House) in 1832-4-5 
and was solicitor for the State in 1842. He was a member of Congress 
(representative) 184.5-7. He married A. M. Perkins, of Pitt county, 

and lived in Greenville many years. He died in Greenville 

187.., and was taken to Beaufort county for burial. He was an able 
man and also wealthy. He was one man whom office did not flatter and 
one terra in Congress gave him enough of politics. He would not 
accept a second term. 



BLACKLEDGE, WILLIAM S., of Craven county, who was in Con- 
gress 1821-3, was a native of Pitt county. He was also a member of the 
legislature from Craven in 1820. His father, William Blackledge, was 
long a member of the legislature from Craven in 1797-8-9 and in Con- 
gress from 1803-9 and again 1811-13. He was for a while a resident of 
Pitt county. He died October 19th, 1828. His son died March 21sL 
1857. 



PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 



2-il) 




JAMES, COLONEL FER- 
NANDO GODFREY, son of 
John G. and Mary R. JameS, 
was born at Hertford, Perqui- 
mans county, February 23d. 
1857. His father was a native 
of Pitt county and a dentist. 
In those days dentists spent 
some time in each town of his 
circuit, and it was while at 
Hertford that tliis son was 
born. Later he (liis father) 
made Greenville his home and 
in addition to his dentistry, 
long kept the old Hotel Macon 
and sales stables. 

His grandfather, William 
James, came to Pitt county 
from the Eastern Shore of Vir- 
ginia and was a Revolutionary 
soldier. His mother was a 
daughter of Godfrey Langley, 
who was a very prominent farmer and business man. 

He was educated at the Pitt Academy and the University of North 
Carolina. He was studying law under Chief Justice R. M. Pearson 
when that able jurist died, and his law course was completed under 
Smith and Strong. He was licensed in 1S80. He returned to Green- 
ville and entered upon the practice of law as a partner with the late 
Colonel I. A. Sugg, whose former partner, T. J. Jarvis, had been 
elected governor. Later the firm becaihe that of Rodman, Sugg & 
James, by the addition of Judge W. B. Rodman, of Washington. 
Judge Rodman having died some years before, the firm of Sugg & 
James dissolved in 1889, and he practiced alone. In 1882 he was 
elected mayor of Greenville and held the office continuously by re- 
election until 1892, then resigned, having been elected to tlie State 
Senate. He was defeated for the same office in 1894 but elected again 
in 1898 and 1900, thus serving three terms. In 1900 he was elected 
a member of the democratic State executive committee, which posi- 
tion he still occupies. That year he was also a delegate to the 
national democratic convention at Kansas City that nominated Bryan 
and Stevenson. In 1905, Governor Glenn appointed him an officer of 
his staff with the title of Colonel, and on the resignation of Solicitor 
Moore of his (third) judicial district Governor Glenn tendered him 
the appointment of solicitor, which he declined. He is both a Master 
and a Roval Arch Mason. 



250 



SKETCHES OF PKOMINENT 



In 1882 lie married Mangie Clieiry, daughter of the late J. B. Cherry, 
one of Greenville's leading merchants and long county treasurer. Iler 
mother was Pattie Sherrod, a granddaughter of John Simpson. They 
have six children. One son, James B. James, educated at Horner's 
and the University of North Carolina, and licensed to practice law 
in 1908, is now associated with him in his practice of law. Another 
son, Charlie James, is teller in the Greenville National Bank. 



BAKNHILL, MABEL, 
daughter of Julius H. and Me- 
lissa A. Barnhill, was born in 
Bethel township on the farm. 
Her father was a young Con- 
federate in Company H, Tenth 
Regiment and when the war 
was over returned to the farm. 
Her mother was a daughter of 
the late B. L. T. Barnhill, an 
ordnance officer in the Con- 
federate army. His grand- 
father (her great-grandfather) 
was an officer in the Revolu- 
tionary war. 

After receiving a good high 
school education, she decided 
to study pharmacy and entered 
the drug store of Dr. F. C. 
James, in Bethel, March 19th, 
1901. 

Dr. James, being a graduate 
in pharmacy as well as medicine, took great care to instruct her in 
her chosen profession. She later took a course at Page's School of 
Pharmacy, Greensboro, North Carolina. She was the only woman 
in the class 1906. She was one of the ten of that class who passed a 
successful examination before the North Carolina State Board of 
Pharmacy in Raleigh, November 2d, 1906, and was granted license 
to practice pharmacy. She was the third licensed female pharmacist 
in North Carolina. She returned to Bethel after receiving her license 
and became a partner with Dr. F. C. James. She is still with him 
and a most valuable asset in his business and practice. She is busi- 
ness manager of the Matinee Drug Co. 

She now ranks among the most skilled, efficient and popular in the 
profession. She became a member of the North Carolina Pharmaceuti- 
cal Association on July the 8th, 1908. 




PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 251 

HARDING, MAJOR HENRY, son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Hard- 
ing, was born at Chocowinity, Beaufort county. May 8th, 1836. His 
father was a farmer, captain of militia in 1812-15 and a Justice of 
the Peace near all his life. His grandfather was a major under Gen- 
eral Greene in the Revolution. His ancestors were among the earliest 
settlers of New England. His mother was a daughter of Cornelius 
Patrick, a soldier of the Revolution, who was with Arnold on his 
expedition to Quebec in 1775. 

Major Harding was raised on the farm, working and attending 
Bchool, finishing from Trinity Parochial School, at Chocowinity, with 
a good academic education. He then began teaching and had been 
teaching five years, when he left the schoolhouse for the field of war, 
volunteering in Captain Swindell's company, which went to Hatteras, 
and at the expiration of twelve months, for which it had enlisted, 
disbanded. Governor Vance then commissioned him Captain to raise 
a company. This company went into the Sixty-first Regiment as 
Company B. He was later promoted Major of the regiment. The " 
regiment saw much service in Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia. 
In 18G3 it was encamped on James Island, near Charleston. On 
another part of the island were a lot of negro soldiers. The United 
States gunboat Chippewa was lying in Stono river to protect them. 
Major Harding conceived a plan to capture it. Early one morning in 
July, 18(33, his regiment made the charge, succeeding in getting to 
the boat but could not scale its sides. The guns of the boat could 
not be lowered enough to reach the Confederates and any appearance 
over the sides of the boat was an invitation for a ball. So the boat 
could do nothing but weigh anchor and float down the river. But not 
before several on the boat had been killed and the boat damaged. As 
the boat swung around the regiment had to seek shelter, as grape and 
canister were flying thick. However, only one Confederate, B. A. Davis, 
private in Company F, was wounded. He died in a few minutes. The 
regiment then charged on the negro soldiers, drove them from the island 
with great loss. Those negroes who did not run may be there yet. 
All their camp and supplies were captured without the loss of a man. 
Returning from the war, he went to work on the farm and in 1866 was 
elected to the legislature (House). In 1876 he was elected a county 
commissioner and was twice reelected. In 1885 he moved to Greenville. 
He had served four years on the Board of Education, when in 1889, on 
the death of Superintendent Josephus Latham, he was elected county 
superintendent to fill the vacancy He held this position four years. 
In 1892 he was elected register of deeds, and since the expiration of 
that term, with the exception of two years, he has been a Justice of the 
Peace. He is senior warden of the Episcopal church, was long a lay 
reader, teacher and superintendent of the Sunday School. He is a Past 
Master Mason and a democrat. 



252 



SKETCHES OF PKOMINENT 



In 1867 he married Susan Sugg, daughter of Benjamin H. and Nancy 
Sugg, of Greene county. They have six children, four sons and two 
daughters. Their sons are F. C. Harding, a lawyer of Greenville; W. F. 
Harding, a lawyer of Charlotte; H P. Harding, superintendent of Char- 
lotte graded schools, and J. B. Harding, engaged in railroad work in 
Mexico. 



CHERRY, JAMES BURTON, 

son of William and 

Cherry, was born January, 
1840. His father was a far- 
mer and he was raised on the 
farm. He was educated at Pitt 
Academy, Asheville, and Hor- 
ner's, and was merchandising 
l)efore he was twenty-one years 
old. He was clerk of the County 
Court and Master in Equity 
(luring the war of 1861-5. In 
1864 he was elected clerk of 
the Superior Court and held it 
four years. All this time he had 
continued his mercantile busi- 
ness. He had been associated 
with his brother, J. J. Cherry, 
but bought his interest and a 
few years thereafter, 1868, 
took T. R. Cherry as a partner, 
the firm being T. R. Cherry & 
Company. This partnership lasted until 1888, when T. R. Cherry re- 
tired. A few years later he associated with him in the business J. R. 
and J. G. Move, the firm then being J. B. Cherry and Company. This 
partnership continued to his death. In 1874 he was elected treasurer of 
Pitt county and held the office continuously by re-election until 1890, 
when he declined a reelection. But in 1898 he was again elected treas- 
urer and twice thereafter reelected, when he positively declined to be 
a candidate for reelection. Altogether he was clerk of the court eight 
years and treasurer twenty-two years, with a record of efficiency and 
popularity to be justly proud of. 

He was a member of the Methodist church, and a Pythian. He was 
twice married. His first wife was Pattie Sherrod, a granddaughter of 
John Simpson; his second was Ada Pearce, daughter of B. C. Pearce. 
There is one child by tlie first wife, INIrs. F. G. James, and one by 
the second, J. B. Cherry, Jr. 
Ho died March 13th, 1905. 




PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 253 

SMITH, JOHN EICHARD, born May 18th, 1868, 1 

SMITH, ROBERT WILLIAMS, born November Uth, 1869 1 ^'""*'''^'"^' 
The lives and work of these two brothers liave been so closely 
blended that a sketch of one is almost a sketch of the other, therefore, 
it is best to give them together. From infancy to manhood and on, 
their career, their interests have been as one Their father, Theophilns 
Smith, was a farmer, as was also their grandfatiier, William Smith. 
Their father was a Confederate soldier and died when they were quite 
young. In 1878 they went to Oxford, North Carolina, where they re- 
mained two years at the asylum, then under Dr. Mills. Ill health of 
their mother called them home and they again took up the work of" 
her farm. She died in 1888 and the next year they went to Winter- 
ville, as clerks for A. G. Cox, who took more than a business interest in 
them and their future. He aided and encouraged them in the opening 
of a store in 1891, John having charge of that business, Robert remain- 
ing with Mr. Cox until 1893, when the business demanded the services 
of both, Robert also went to Ayden. Their business has had a phe- 
nomenal growth and they are interested in many of the most successful 
enterprises of their town. The Bank of Ayden, with $10,000 capital, 
was organized in 1903. They were the largest stockholders and John 
was elected cashier, which position he still holds. The business of the 
bank has grown and the capital stock is now $25,000. In May, 1902, 
a disastrous fire destroyed much of the business section of Ayden and 
their losses were very heavy. Again in January, 1006, they were severe 
losers by fire. This year they incorporated their business, under the 
firm nam.e of The J. R. Smith Company, with a paid in capital of 
$25,000, the authorized capital being $100,000. Of the new firm, John 
is President and Robert is Vice-President. Their business is very ex- 
tensive, reaching out to at least four counties. In 1908 this firm 
bought out the Ayden Milling and Manufacturing Company, a company 
with $15,000 capital stock. They had been interested in this concern 
since its organization. John is also president of the Ayden Loan and 
Insurance Company, another enterprise that is doing much for the up- 
building of the town and vicinity. They have recently bought out tlie 
East Carolina Land and Development Company, and will develop much 
property in and around Ayden. They own much real estate in Pitt, 
Craven and Greene counties. Both are members of the Christian (Dis- 
ciple) church and prominent in church work. They are both Masons 
and Odd Fellows. 

John married Mary, daughter of Elder Fred McGlohon, a Free Will 
Baptist minister and a farmer, who was a representative in tlie Legisla- 
ture of 1893. They have two children, daughters, living. Robert mar- 
ried Cora, daughter of W. F. Hart, a farmer. They have four children, 
sons, living. 



254 SKETCHES OF PROMINENT 

BLOW, ALEXANDER LILLINGTON, son of William J. and Dorcaa 
S. Blow, was born in Greenville, June 29th, 1851. His father was a well- 
known pliysician and a representative in the legislature (House) from 
Pitt county ten years, from 1848 to 1858. In the war of 1861-5 he was 
a surgeon in the Twenty-seventh Regiment. His grandfather, James 
Blow, was a large farmer, in the western part of tlie county. His 
motlier was a daiighter of Joseph Masters, of Hyde county, who was a 
representative in the legislature (Senate) from Hyde in ISOO. 

Mr. Blow was attending the common schools when in the latter part 
of March, 1865, he enlisted in the Eighth Texas Regiment, then in Gen- 
eral Johnston's army. After General Johnston's surrender near Dur- 
ham, he returned home and entered Pitt Academy where he finished his 
education. He then became a clerk in a store. Later he studied law 
uhder Colonel Yellowly and -(vas licensed in January, 1874. Shortly he 
became associated witli J. T. Lyon, in the publication of The Register, 
a weekly paper, published in Greenville. In September of that year, he 
was elected register of deeds for the county and withdrew from the 
paper business. He held that office by reelection until 1881, when he 
was appointed clerk of the Superior court to succeed Henry Sheppard, 
deceased. He held that office to the end of that term, one year. He 
was solicitor of the Inferior court two years. He Avas a town alderman 
in 1881 and again in 1900, serving the two terms of two years each. 
In 1902 lie was elected State Senator and again in 1908. He was elected 
a member of the democratic county executive committee in 1874 and 
held tliat position until 1904. From 1874 to 1883 he was secretary to 
the committee and from 1883 to_ 1904 he was chairman. For many 
years he was attorney for the Board of County Commissioners. He 
first began tlie practice of law in 1874. 

He is a member of the Methodist church and is chairman of the 
Board of Trustees. He is a Master Mason and has been prominent in 
Masonic circles and worlc. 

In 1874 he married Alice M. IMonteiro, of Virginia. They have seven 
children, all living. 



GRIMES, JOHN BRYAN, son of General Bryan Grimes and Char- 
lotte Emily Bryan, daughter of tlie late Hon. John H. Bryan, was born 
at Raleigh, N. C, June 3, 1808, but he has lived since his infancy at 
Grimesland, Pitt County. Educated at private schools, Raleigh Male 
Academy, Trinity School (Clincowinity, N. C), Lynch's Higli School 
(High Point, N. C), University of North Carolina, Bryant & Stratton's 
Business College (Baltimore, Md.), Farmer and business man; mem- 
ber State Farmers' Alliance; aide-de-camp on staff Governor Elias Carr 
with rank of colonel; member State Board of Agriculture 1899 and 
1900; President North Carolina Tobacco Growers Association 1900; 
Chairman North Carolina Historical Commission; member Executive 
Committee State Literary and Historical Association; Vice-President 



PITT OOUiSTTY MEN AXI> WOMEN. 255 

and member Board of Managers Xorth Carolina Society Sons of the 
Revolution ; member Executive Committee Trustees of University of 
North Carolina; Chairman Democratic Executive Committee Chicod 
Township 1890 to 1900. Always active in politics. Endorsed by Pitt 
County and several parts of the First Congressional District for Demo- 
cratic nomination for Congress in 1S98, but declined to become a can- 
didate. Elected Secretary of State in 1900, again in 1904 and again in 
1908. In 1908 leading the State ticket both in the majority and in 
the number of votes received. Belongs to following fraternal orders: 
A. F. & A. M. ; Knights of Pythias; J. 0. U. A. M. and Royal Arcanum. 
Married November 14, 1904, ]\Iary Octavia Laugh inghouse, who died 
December 2, 1909, and on February 3, 1904, to Elizabeth Forrest Laugh- 
inghouse. Children by first wife, Helen Elise Grimes, and by last mar- 
riage, John Bryan Grimes, Jr., and Charles O'Hagan Grimes. 



WILLIAMS, WILLIS ROBERT, was born near Falkland September 
3d, 1826, in the house in which he lived and died. His father was 
Robert Williams, a son of John Williams, prominent in Revolutionary 
history of Pitt county. John was a son of Robert Williams, a Welsh- 
man, wlio first settled in Pennsylvania, but came to Xorth Carolina in 
1727, settling near Falkland where he bought several thousand acres 
of land. 

Left an orphan when young, Mr. Williams was reared and educated 
by an uncle, who gave him a fine college education. As a young man, he 
was prominent in public aff"airs, serving as school committee, mem- 
ber of the County Board of Education and examiner of teachers. Some 
time in the latter 60's he was made a Justice of the Peace and at dif- 
ferent periods held this office more than twenty years. He was promi- 
nent in the Grange movement, was master of the local and later of the 
State Grange. He was often a delegate to the National Grange. He 
served long on the State Board of Agriculture and director of State 
institutions. His legislative career began in 1806 when he was elected 
a member of the House. At that session he introduced a bill to pension 
the Confederate soldiers, it being the first effort of the kind in the 
South. However the bill failed to become a law. He was elected to 
the State Senate in 1884 and reelected in 1880. 1888 and 1890. He 
was a candidate for Superior Court Clerk in 1894. He was a member 
of the Greenville Lodge of Masons and a member of the Christian 
(Disciple) church. 

Early in life he married Harriet P., daughter of Colonel Thomas IT. 
Leary, of Edenton, who preceded him to the grave. They were the 
parents of eight children, five boys and three girls. After her death he 
led a retired life on his farm, where he died September 7th, 1910, being 
eighty-three years and four days old. 

Though always feeble, he was an active man and interested in public 



256 SKETCHES OF PROMINENT' 

affairs. He was one of the fathers of the Agricultural and Mechanical 
College at Raleigh. He always championed the cause of the farmer and 
was really tlie father of the six per cent interest law, though he did 
not secure its enactment. He was a member of the Christian church 
sixty or more years and perhaps attended more State conferences than 
any other layman; he was a Mason more than fifty years. He was a 
man of thorough education, extensive information, wide travel and 
broad views. 



WOOTEN, FRANCIS MARION, son of Robert L. and Julia A. 
Wooten, was born at LaGrange, N. C, August 4th, 1875. His father 
was a farmer. His mother was a daughter of M. R. C. Loftin and 
Julia Parker Loftin. 

He was educated at Columbia College, New York, and the University 
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Taking up pharmacy, he was li- 
censed in 1897 and in 1904 he located at Greenville, where he had 
lived several years prior to 1897. While a pharmacist and engaged 
in the business he took up the study of law, was licensed to practice in 
1905 and began practice at Greenville. In 190.. he was elected Mayor, 
which office he theft held two terms. In 1910 he Avas again elected 
Mayor to fill an unexpired term. Thus he now combines pharmacy, 
law and executive duties. He is a member of the Episcopal church and 
a "lay reader." He is a Mason, with his membership with Unanimity 
Lodge at Edenton, North Carolina. He is also a member of Tar River 
Lodge, Knights of Pythias, Greenville, North Carolina. He is an active 
business man, a good lawyer and popular Mayor. 

July 7th, 1909, he married Elizabeth Hampton Wade, a daughter of 
Wade, of Farmville, Virginia. 



JARVIS, THOMAS JORDAN, was born in Currituck county, North 
Carolina, January 18th, 1836. He began life as a school teacher, grad- 
uating from Randolph-Macon College, Virginia, in 1860. In 1861 he 
closed his school and enlisted in Company B, Eighth regiment, and was 
promoted from Lieutenant to Captain. At Drewry's Bluff in 1804 he 
was severely wounded, his right arm having been useless since. Return- 
ing home after the war lie moved to Tyrrell county and was elected to 
the Andrew Jolmson State Convention of 1805. He was licensed to 
practice law in 1800. In 1808 he was a Seymour and Blair candidate 
for elector as well as a candidate for the legislature, being elected to 
the latter. He was reelected in 1870 and elected Speaker of the House. 
In 1872 he moved to Pitt county and was a Greely and Brown candi- 
date for elector. With W. M. King he was elected to Represent Pitt 
county in the Constitutional convention of 1875. In 1870 he was elected 
Lieutenant Governor on the ticket with Z. B. Vance, and on the elec- 



PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 257 

tion of Governor Vance to the United States Senate lie became Governor 
February 5th, 1879. In 1880 he was elected Governor for tlie full 
term, thus serving six years. In March, 1885, President Cleveland ap- 
pointed him Minister to Brazil, where he remained four years. On the 
death of Senator Vance Governor Carr appointed him United States 
Senator, April 19th, 1895, to fill the unexpired term. Since then he has 
devoted himself to his profession, though taking an active interest in 
public matters- 

LATHAM, REVEEEKD JOSEPHUS, son of 1 Ixmias J. and Nancy ('. 
Latham, was born at Pantego, Beaufort County, North Carolina, June 
6th, 1828. His father was one of the pioneer ministers of the Chris- 
tian (Disciple) church in North Carolina and was also a large land- 
owner, with many slaves. He received a good common school educa- 
tion. At fifteen years of age he became a member of the Christian 
church at Pantego, being baptized by his father. Three j-ears later, 
when he was only eighteen, he became a minister of that church and 
made that his life work, though he was also a farmer and gave much 
attention to educational work, teaching at various times and places. 
He taught the Farmville High School many years and many of the suc- 
cessful men of that section, and others, received their training under 
him. He was a member of the Pitt County Board of Education and 
County Superintendent from 1883 to 1889. 

After many years itinerary, during which he served the Kinston 
church several years, he made his home' on his farm near Greenville and 
was for many years pastor of Mount Pleasant. During his ministry, 
only sickness, the performance of some other sacred duty or unavoid- 
able circumstances, made him miss preaching every Sunday in the year. 
And besides, he held many revival meetings and preached at other 
times. During his ministry he baptized about 3,000 persons and mar- 
ried near 500 couples. He died April 27th, 1889, aged 60 years, 10 
months and 21 days, and was buried in Mount Pleasant cemetery near 
his home. A marble tomb marks his grave. 

For many years he was a member of Covenant Lodge of Odd Fellows 
at Greenville and was also a Knight of Honor. He was a strong pro- 
hibitionist and all his life a total abstainer. He was utterly unselfish, 
and spent his life in the service of his Master and for his fellow man. 

One cold day he met a Confederate soldier, who was barefooted and 
not too well clothed. After a short conversation with the soldier, he 
pulled off his shoes and socks and gave them to the soldier. 

May 31st, 1852, he married Martha Brown, daughter of Alfred L. 
and Nancy E. Brown, Reverend John P. Dunn ofTiciating. At the age 
of 81 years his widow, with two of their children, survive him. 

(She died Septemt-er, 1910.) 

17 



258 



SKICI'CJIES OK IMJOMINENT 



KING, RICHARD WAR- 
REN, tliird son of Thomas and 
]\Iartha. A. (Timiage) King, 
was born near what is now 
Farmville, September 11th, 
1858. Receiving a common 
school education, he began 
clerking in a country store be- 
fore he was grown. Later in 
other business he canvassed 
much of the eastern counties. 
In 1882 he was appointed dep- 
uty sheriff under Sheriff King, 
wliich position he lield for the 
three terms of his uncle. In 
1888 J. A. K. Tucker was 
elected sheriff and he was con- 
tinued in office of deputy 
,5heriir for the two terms of 
Sheriff Tucker. So acceptably 
and efficiently had he per- 
formed the duties of deputy 
for ten years that in 1892 he was nominated by the Democrats for the 
office of sheriff and elected at tlie following election. In 1894 the 
county commissioneis refused to accept the bond of sheriff-elect, W. H. 
Harrington, and appointed him sheriff for the ensuing two years. 
Having served altogetlicr fouiteon years in the office he was not a 
candidate for rcnomination in 1896. In 1906 he was elected a county 
commissioner and under that administration, the steel bridges at 
Creenville and Crifton were built, lie has always taken an active in- 
terest in politics and served on many committees, having been a mem- 
ber of tlie county, district and many other committees. He iS a member 
of the Christian (Disciple) church and a Mason. 

September 28th, 1891, he married Mattie E., daughter of W. B. and 
Mattic E. (Edwards) Moye. They have seven children living. 




SKINNER, COLONEL HARRY, son of James C. and Elmira W. 
Skinner, was born in Perquimans county, May 25th, 1855. His father 
was a mcnd)er of the legislature (House) several times from Chowan 
county and also clerk of the Court of Perquimans county near forty 
j-ears. His grandfather, Henry Skinner, represented Chowan county a 
number of times in the legislature in both Houses and later represented 
Perquimans many terms in both houses of the legislature. He was also 
a member of the Governor's Council. His great-grandfather, William 
Skinner, represented Perquimans at the Halifax Convention of 1776, 



PITT COUNTY MEN AND WOMEN. 259 

and on the organization of troops in 1776 was elected Lieutenant 
Colonel. He was later promoted Brigadier General. The Skinners 
were from England and among the early settlers of Albemarle, where 
they became large planters and slave owners and very influential. His 
mother was a daughter of Allen Ward, a large planter. 

Colonel Skinner was prepared for college at Hertford Academy and 
graduated from Kentucky University at Lexington with degree of fc. B 
in 1875. He had studied law and was sworn in as an attorney at Lex- 
ington, but coming to Greenville, he continued its study under JIajor 
L. C. Latham and was licensed in North Carolina in 1876. He at once 
formed a partnership with Major Latham. In 1878 lie was elected a 
member of the democratic congressional committee. From 1880 to 
1884 he was chairman of the Pitt county democratic executive com- 
mittee and in 1883 also chairman of the congressional committee. In 
1888 he was elected to the legislature (House), and jaeing a strong 
Allianceman took a prominent part in matters pertaining to its cause. 
-When it resulted in the formation of tlie populist party, he was one of 
its organizers and an active participant in its proceedings. He can: 
vassed the State in 1892, and was the populist candidate for Congress in 
the first district in 1894. He was elected and reelected in 1890, but 
was defeated in 1898. He is now the only living ex-representative of 
the first district. 

In 1901 he was appointed United States District Attorney for the 
Eastern District of North Carolina by President JIcKinlcy, and re- 
appointed in 1905 by President Pvoosevelt. Since, the expiration of his 
second term he has devoted himself to his large law practice in both the 
State and Federal Courts. He is a Mason and an Odd Fellow. He is 
public spirited and enterprising and principally through his efforts a 
building and really the public school for Greenville resulted, which 
grew into the graded school. 

Colonel Skinner has been twice married. His first wife was iMiss 
Monteiro, of Richmond, Virginia, by whom he had four children, one 
of whom, Harry Skinner, Jr., an able and bright young lawy.r, with 
great promise of a useful and brilliant career, lost his life in an auto- 
mobile accident near Greenville, November 3d, 1909. His second wife 
was Ella Montiero, of Greenville, by whom he has one son. 



LAUGHINGHOUSE, CAPTAIN JOSEPH JOHN, son of Joseph H. 
and J. A. Laughinghousc, was born in Pitt county, October 4tli. 1847 
When Thomas Laughinghouse came to America about 1750 lie left liis 
brothers engaged in the wholesale grain business in Liverpool. Their 
descendants have continued the business to the present time. Thomas 
settled in Pitt (then Beaufort) county. John, a son f)f Thomas, wan 
an officer in the Revolution, serving under General Washington and 
was with him at Yorktown. John had three sons, Thomas, who went 



18 



2G0 SKETCHES OF PEOMINENT 

to Arkansas: (Judge George Laughinghouse of that State was one of 
his descendants;) Joseph, who went to Alabama; and Edward L., who 
remained in Pitt and became a large planter. Edward L. had three chil- 
dren, William J., John H. and Annie. Annie married F. B. Satter- 
thwaite. John H., who, like his father, was a large planter, was the 
father of Joseph J., the subject of this sketch. 

Captain Laughinghouse's father died in November, 1S62, and left him 
praclicallj' in charge of his mother's business. She died in March, 
1SG3. He then went to Horner's Military school, where he remained 
until April, 1864, leaving school to join the Junior Reserves, composed 
of seventeen-year-old boys. Company H, Seventy-first Regiment, of which 
company he was elected First Lieutenant, and the following October 
(1st) four days before he was seventeen years old, he was promoted 
Captain. He is said to have been the youngest Captain of any North 
Carolina troops. The first four mouths after his enlistment he served 
as Adjutant of his regiment. The regiment was in General Hoke's Di- 
vision of General Joseph E. Johnston's army the last four months of 
the war. 

After the war Captain Laughinghouse taught school a year, clerked 
a year and at the age of twenty was engaged in the shingle business. 
making some money. His father's estate, somewhat encumbered, had 
sufi'ered lieavily by the war, necessitating the sale of the land in 1869. 
He became the purchaser, and went to work with a will to redeem it, 
and in time was successful. He has always been an active democrat 
and has served many years as committeeman, both of his township, 
county and State. He was almost a lifelong Justice of the Peace. He 
was four years an Associate Justice of the County Inferior Court. 

In 1904 he was elected a member of the legislature (House) and re 
elected in 1906. In 1909 Governor Kitchin appointed him Superin- 
tendent of the State prison and farms. Under his management the 
earnings of the first year were more than doubled. He has been one 
of the county's largest and most successful farmers and at one time 
was said to be the largest tobacco grower in the State. He is a promi- 
nent Mason. 

In 1870 he married Eliza, daugliter of the late Dr. C. J. O'Hagan. 
They have three children living: Dr. C. O'H. Laughinghouse of Green- 
ville, Mrs. J. Bryan Grimes of Raleigh, and Ned Laughinghouse of 
Greenville. 



LATHAM, MAJOR LOUIS CHARLES, son of Charles Latham, was 
born at Plymouth, N. C, September 11th, 1840. His father was a 
prominent lawyer of Plymouth. 

Major Latham was prepared for college in the Plymouth schools and 
graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1859. He read 
law under Judge Asa Biggs and then attended Harvard Law School. 



PITT OJUNTY MEN AND AVOMEN. 261 

The events of 1860-1 interrupted his studies. He returned home, volun- 
teered, and May 20, 1861, was made Captain of Company G, First Regi- 
ment. He was wounded at Sharpsburg and soon thereafter promoted 
Major of the regiment. He commanded the regiment at Chancollors- 
ville and was wounded at the Wilderness, IMay 5th, 1864. Recovering 
he again joined the army and surrendered with General Lee at Appo- 
mattox. While at home in 1864 he was elected to the legislature 
(House). At the close of the war he resumed his law studies and was 
soon licensed to practice. In 1870 he was elected to the State Senate 
and in the absence of Judge Warren, President of the Senate, he was 
always chosen to preside. He was a candidate for the democratic con- 
gressional nomination in 1872, 74 and 78, but defeated, and in 1880 was 
nominated by acclamation and also elected. He was again a candidate 
in 1882, but was defeated by W. F. Pool. He came to Greenville in 
1875 and was a Tilden and Hendricks elector in 1876. In 1886 he was 
again a candidate and elected to Congress. After this term he devoted 
himself to his profession, being one of the ablest and most eloquent 
lawyers in the State. He died October 16th, 1895. 

Major Latham was twice married. His first wife was a Miss Nor- 
enm, of Plymouth, by whom he had one child. His second wife was a 
Miss Montiero, of Richmond, Va., by whom he had four children, one 
of whom is now United States Consul. 



MOORE, DAVID COLUMBUS, son of David and Arcenia Moore, was 
born September 18th, 1850. His father was a farmer and had two 
sons in the Confederate army. 

Mr. Moore received a common school education and farmed a num- 
ber of years. In 1877 he was elected a Justice of the Peace, which posi- 
tion he held twenty years. In 1878 he was elected a member of the 
legislature (House) and reelected in 1880. Having moved to Pethel he 
was first elected Mayor in 1876 and by reelection he was Mayor six 
teen years. In 1885 he was elected member of the County Board of 
Education, serving two years. In 1891-92 he was deputy register of 
deeds under D. H. James, and also in 1893 under Major Harding. In 
1898 he was elected clerk of the Superior Court and reelected in 1902, 
1906 and 1910. He is an active democrat and has served as member of 
both his township and county executive committees. He is an Odd 
Fellow and a Red Man. 

In 1875 he married Martha C. Andrews, daughter of Henry and 
Mary A. Andrews. They have four children: Andrew J., assistant 
cashier Greenville Banking and Trust Company; Thomas J., telliT of 
the Murchison National Bank of Wilmington; A. Thurman, deputy 
clerk of Pitt Superior Court, and David C. Jr., attending school. 



2G2 



SKETtaiES OK PKOMINENT 




DAVIS, ROBERT LANG. 
oldest son of B. A. and ]\Iary 
A. Davis, was born in Pitt 
County, March 3d, 1856. His 
father was a farmer, member 
of Company F, Sixty-first Regi- 
ment, war of 18G1-5, and was 
killed near Charleston, S. C, 
July, 186-3, in an infantry at- 
tack upon a Federal gunboat. 
H i s grandfather, Benjamin 
Davis, was a farmer. His 
niotlier was a daughter of Rob- 
ert and Mariah Lang. 

My. Davis was reared on the 
favni and his educational ad- 
\antages were limited. When 
sixteen years old he began 
clerking in the store of his 
uncle, W. G. Lang. Seven 
years later, 1879, he began 
business himself in Farmville. 
So;in \V. R. Home was associated witli him, the firm being Davis and 
Home. :\Ir. Homo withdiew in 1886. In 1893 his brothers, Francis M. 
Davis, and John R. Davis were taken into the business, the firm becom- 
ing R. L. Davis and Brothers, which it has continued since. 

The first bank in Pitt Countj^, the Bank of Greenville, was organized 
in 1896, and R. L. Davis, of Farmville, a large stockholder, was its 
president, and is now, having served continuously. He was elected a 
county coinniissioncr in 1900 and reelected in 1902. He has served his 
town bntli as mayor and alderman, and his people in many other capaci- 
ties. He has ever been foremost in promoting the industry and enter- 
prises of his town and section. Among such and in which he has been 
a prime mover, are, the Bank of Farmville, organized in 1904, of which 
he lias been its only president; the Farmville tobacco market, opened 
in 1905; the Farmville district graded school; the Farmville oil mills, 
now about ready to begin operations, of which he is president; and a 
luimber of other enterprises. 

Wlien Mr. Davis began business in 1879 his capital was limited and 
competition almost deathdealing, but by close and strict attention to his 
JMisiness he surmounted many difficulties and built up a business that 
extends to several counties. He is a merchant farmer, manufacturer 
and capitalist. As a merchant his firm does the largest business in 
Pitt County; as a farmer, he is the largest landowner in the county 
and is practical and successful; as a manufacturer, he is interested in 



PITT COUNTY MEN AA1> WOMEN. 263 

a number of enterprises and much of their success is due to his ability" 
as a financier; as a capitalist, he is an extensive banker and does a 
large business. Thus he is Pitt County's largest merchant, largest far- 
mer, largest banker, prominent in all affairs of the county, and a 
bachelor. 



GOTTEN, ROBERT RANDOLPH, son of John L. and Nancy A. Cot- 
ten, was born in upper Edgecombe county, June 20th, 18.39. His father 
was a farmer. His grandfather, Roderick Gotten, was a jjlanter also. 
His mother was a daughter of the late Aaron Johnson, a large and 
wealthy planter and slaveowner. 

From the common schools, INIr. Gotten went to Baltimore, where he 
finished his education and for a while made Baltinioie liis home, en<rag- 
ing in the mercantile business as a traveling salesman. \Vhen tlie war 
of 18G1-5 began he came back to Edgecombe and enlisted in Company 
G, Third North Carolina Cavalry. He went through the \v;ir and sur- 
rendered with General Lee at Appomattox. After the war he began 
business in Tarboro and came to Falkland, Pitt county, and opened 
business about 1868. He soon had a branch business in Wilson, and 
was one of the directors of the first bank organized in that town. He 
has held many positions of trust and honor. He was long a director of 
the State Hospital at Raleigh, of the State penitentiary and has been 
a member of the democratic State executive connnittee fifteen years. 
For several years after coming to Pitt he was a .Justice of the Peace, 
and on tlie organization of the Pitt County Inferior Court, lie was 
elected its chairman and held that position several years. In 1008 he 
v.'as nominated and elected a member of the legislature (House) and is 
now a State Senator, having been elected at the election on November 
8th, 1910. He is. a large farmer, with liis farms in a high state of cul- 
tivation, and also a merchant, supplying his farms and otlicrwisc doing 
business. He is a member of the Episcopal church. 

March 7th, 1866, he married I\Iiss Sallie Southall, daughter of Colonel 
Thomas Southall, of Murfreesboro, N. C. They have six children, three 
sons and three daughters. Bruce Gotten, their oldest son, is a United 
States army officer, and married Mrs. Edith Johns Tysnn, of Baltimore. 
Lyman A. Gotten is a United States naval officer and married Miss 
Bessie Henderson, of Salisbury, N. C. Preston S. Gotten is a lawyer of 
Norfolk, Virginia. Their daughters, all married, are Mrs. Jnlimi 'lim 
borlake, of Raleigh, N. G.; Mrs. Russell B. Wiggin, of Boston, Mass., 
and Mrs. Douglass B. Wesson, of Springfield, Mass. 



THE BIG STORE 



" Munfords 



yy 



GREENVILLE'S REAL OUTFITTER FOR THE 

OUTER MAN 

FOR THE FAIR SEX FOR THE STERNER SEX 

EVERYTHINO — Millinery, EVERYTHING— Hais, Cloth- 
Dress Goods, Ready-to-wear ing, Shirts, Underwear, Over- 
Goods, No velti e s , Notions, wear, Neckwear, Shoes, Ho- 
Stockings, Shoes, P2tc. siery, Etc. 

Ladies' aud Gentlemen's Furnishings 



Everything for the Matron, the Everything for the Man, the 
Maid, the Miss and the Baijy Beau, the Youth and for the 

Boys 



FURNITURE 

FOR THE ENTIRE HOUSE 

For the Parlor, Library, Bed Room, Dining Room 

and Kitchen. Carpets, Rugs, Cribs, Hall 

Racks, Porch Chairs and Pictures 

A Department Store, Complete In Every Line, and it is just 

C. T. MUNFORD 

GREENVILLE, NrC. 



J. S. MOORING 



DEALER IN 



General Merchandise 



GREENVILLE, 



NORTH CAROLINA 



A. B, Ellington &- Company 
VARIETY STORE 



School Books and Stationery 



GREENVILLE, 



NORTH CAROLINA 



EDMOND H. TAFT ZACK P. VANDYKE 

TAFT & VANDYKE 

Dealers in Furniture and Stoves, Dry Goods and 
Notions, Shoes, Etc. 

Phone 59 
GREENVILLE, ------ NORTH CAROLINA 



HOME OF PURE DRUGS and CHEMICALS 




P 




Funcy GoodS; T o i 1 o t Articles, 
Patent Medicines, Cigars, Cold 
Drinks, and every tliinK usually 
found in a first-class Drug Store. 



DR. E. A. MOYE 



GREENVILLE, 



NORTH CAROLINA 



L H.PENDER 

GREENVILLE, N. C. 
MANUFACTURER OF 

TOBACCO FLUES 



CONTRACTOR FOR 

Plumbing and Tinning 

J. E.WINSLOVV 

DEALER IN 

HORSES AND MULES 



SALE STABLES 



AYDEN, AND GREENVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA 

Office : 
GREENVILLI-:, N. C. 



JAMES LONG 

Pure and Fresh Groceries 

GREENVILLE. N. C. 

A Complete Line of Light and Fancy Table Groceries, Canned Goods,. 
Candies, Cakes, Tobacco and Cigars. 

ALSO HEA\^" FAMILY GROCERIES ALWAYS IX STOCK 

PULLEY & BOWEN 

DEALERS IN 

Silks, Embroideries, Laces, Fine Footwear, 

Nations and No\'elties 

Home of Women's Fashions GREENVILLE, N. C. 

T-v 1 T¥ oi Merchandise Broker, 

Ed. H. Shelbiirn, „„„,„,■; ,^„,, 

GREENVILLE. N. C. 

. ,. _ . u , o , Tk,.,.k^.o For the International Harvester 
Gasoline Engines. Mowers. Reapers. Threshers 

and All Kinds of Farm Machinery. Compan3|f 



C ALL ON 



P. M. JOHNSTON 

GREENVILLE. N. C. 

WHEN YOU WANT PHONE 23 

PLUMBING 

ESTIMATES GIVEN ON APPLICATION 

THE LEADER PNEUMATIC SYSTEM FOR TOWN 
AND COUNTRY A SPECIALTY 



K A, WHITE 

INSURANCE 

LIFE, FIRE, ACCIDENT, BONDS 
GREENVILLE, ^ . NORTH CAROLINA 

The Mutual Life Insurance Company 

of New York 

First in America Organized 1842 Assets $600,000,000 

High Annual Cash Dividends, Liberal Terms and Privileges to Its 
Policy-holders makes It the Best in the World. 

H. Bentley Harris, Manager Greenville District. Greenville, N. C 

CENTRAL BARBER SHOP 

HERBERT EDMONDS, Proprietor 

Located in main business of town. Four chairs in operation and 

each one presided over by a skilled barber. Ladies 

waited on at their homes 



J. R. SPIER, President C. S. CARR, Cashier 

The Greenville Banking and Trust Company 

greenville, n. c. 
Capital $50,000.00 

Prompt, Progressive, Accommodating 
Appreciates Old Friends — Welcomes New 

Provided with every safeguard for the protection of its Depo.sitors and 
endeavors to give them the BEST SERVICE. 

Your Business Solicited 



F.G.JAMES, J P. OUINERLY. C.J.FORBES. 

President Vice-President Cashier 

National Bank of Greenville 

Greenville, N. C. 
Capital, $50,000.00— Organized 1906— Surplus, $10,000.00 



The First Consideration of the Officers and Directors 

of This Bank is the Security of the Funds 

Intrusted to Our Care by Depositors 



With a Paid-up Capital of $50,000.00, and a Surphis 

of $10,000.00, a practical management and 

a representative Board of Directors, this 

Bank is prepared to offer you the 

best service possible, based on 

sound banking principles 



Resources Over One Quarter of a 
Million Dollars 



THE ONLY NATIONAL BANK IN PITT 

COUNTY 



^= 



J 



ALBION DUNN 

GREENVILLE, N. C. 

ATTORNEY AND COUNSELLOR AT LAW 



Practices wherever his services are required 
DUNN ^ DUNN, Scotland Neck, N. C. 



S. J. EVERETT 

ATTORNEY AT LAW 

PHONE 328 

GREENVILLE, - - NORTH CAROLINA 



CHARLES C. PIERCE 

ATTORNEY AT LAW 

MAIN STREET. PHOENIX BUILDING 

GREENVILLE, - ^ NORTH CAROLINA 

WILLIAM F. EVANS 

ATTORNEY AT LAW 



GREENVILLE, - - NORTH CAROLINA 



JULIUS BROWN, ATTORNEY AT LAW 

(see- sketch) Greenville, N. C. 



L. L MOORE AND W. H. LONG 

(SEK sketch) 

ATTORNEYS AT LAW 

Greenville. N. C. 



F. G. JAMES AND SON, ATTORNEYS AT LAW 

(SEE SKETCH) Grcenville, N. C. 



T. J. JARVIS AND A. L. BLOW 

(see sketches) 



ATTORNEYS AT LAW 

Greenville, N. C. 



F. M. WOOTEN, 



(see sketch) 



HARRY SKINNER, 

(see sketch) 



F. C. HARDING, 



(see sketch; 



ATTORNEY AT LAW 
Greenville, N. C. 



ATTORNEY AT LAW 
Greenville, N. C. 



ATTORNEY AT LAW 
Greenville, N. C. 



J 



ames 



. iXing Livery jtables 



GREENVILLE, N. C. 



SALE, FEED, BOARDING, LIVERY 



J. C. LANIER N.W. OUTLAW 



DtALER IN 

Monuments 

AND 

Tombstones 
IRON FENCING 

Greenville, North Carolina 



ATTORNEY AT LAW 

Office formerly occupied \>y J. L. 
Fleming 

Greenville, North Carolina 



CAROLINA COAST COUNTRY ALONG THE 

Norfolk Southern 

RAILROAD 

NATURE'S GARDEN SPOT 



Carolina Coast Country climate creates choice cotton 
crop conditions. 

Pitt County lands are ideal for tobacco, cotton, corn, 
hay, grain and grasses of all kinds. Excellent for live 
stock and grazing. 

The Norfolk Southern Railroad affords Pitt County the 
best of transpbrtation facilities, in both passenger and 
freight, and farm locations near this line are the most 
desirable in the country. 

The Land and Industrial Department of the Norfolk 
Southern has just issued a handsome booklet descriptive 
of the great possibilities of Eastern North Carolina. This 
booklet is free for the asking. 

Write to the Land Department office of the railroad at 
Norfolk and state about the size of farm you are looking 
for, also the kind of crops you wish to grow, and they will 
show you the place and the farm. 



ADDRESS. 



W. W. CROXTON, General Passenger Agent, 
Norfolk Southern Railway 

NORFOLK, VA. 



Are You Reading North Carolina's Foremost Newspaper? 

The Charlotte Observer 

EVERY DAY IN THE YEAR 

One Year $8.00. Three Months $2.00. It costs 
more, but 3'ou get a real live Newspaper 



The Evening Chronicle 

EVERY AFTERNOON EXCEPT SUNDAY 
$5.00 Per Year. $1.25 Three Months 



-THE- 



5emi-Weekly Observer 

EVERY TUESDAY AND FRIDAY 
$1.00 Per Year 



SEND FOR SAMPLE COPIES 

THE OBSERVER COMPANY 

THE OBSERVER BUILDING 

CHARLOTTE, N. C. 



D. J. WHICHARD. Pres. A. G. COX. Vice-Pres. B. B. SUGG, Sec. and Treas. 

THE REFLECTOR CO. 

(INCORPORATED) 
GREENVILLE, N. C. 

PUBLISHERS 

The Carolina Home and Farm and Eastern Reflector, 

$1.00 the Year 

The Daily Reflector, $3.00 the Year 

Advertising rates upon application 

COMMERCIAL JOB PRINTERS 

Dealers in Loose Leaf Ledg^ers and other Loose Leaf 

S3'stems 

Embossed Stationery and Engraved Goods, Such as 
Weddings Invitations, Visiting Cards, Etc. 



THE CAUCASIAN 

PUBLISHED AT RALEIGH, N. C. 



Every Thursday, is the leading weekly news- 
paper in the State. THE CAUCASIAN was 
established twenty-seven years ago, has been 
enlarged to eight pages and is the only Re- 
publican paper published at the State Capital. 

SUBSCRIPTION PRICE $1.00 
WRITE FOR SAMPLE COPIES 

ADDRESS 

The Caucasian, Raleigh, N. C 



The Raleigh Christian Advocate 

PUBLISHED AT IIALEIGH, N. C. ESTABLISHED 185". 

A high-toned religious newspaper, organ of the North Caro- 
lina Annual Conference. Eight thousand subscribers. A fine 
advertising medium. Ought to be in every home in the North 
Carolina Conference. $1.50 per year. Send for it. 

ADDRESS 

L. S. MASSEY, Business Manager 

RALEIGH. N. C. 



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